Falling off of a Boeing's engine cover prompts an investigation

  • By Michael Race
  • Business Correspondent

image source, Good pictures

Airline regulators in the US have launched an investigation after a Boeing 737-800 crashed on takeoff and hit a wing flap.

The Southwest Airlines flight returned safely to Denver International Airport at approximately 08:15 local time (15:15 GMT) after initially departing for Houston.

The plane had 135 passengers and six crew members and climbed to about 10,300 feet (3,140 m) before landing.

The incident comes amid production and safety concerns at Boeing.

Southwest Airlines said its maintenance teams will review a Boeing 737-800 after the engine cowling came off. The airline is responsible for maintaining such parts.

“We apologize for the inconvenience of the delay, but our highest priority is the ultimate safety of our customers and employees,” a statement said.

The plane was manufactured in 2015, according to regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, and the 737-800 is the previous generation of the 737 from the latest Max model.

Both aircraft are powered by CFM56 engines – a joint venture between General Electric Aerospace and Safron Aircraft Engines.

The Boeing was towed to the gate after landing, the FAA said.

Boeing declined to comment when approached by BBC News, referring questions to Southwest for information about the airline's flight and fleet operations.

Southwest said it was flying passengers to Houston about three hours late on another flight.

Controllers temporarily grounded nearly 200 Boeing 737 Max 9 jets after a door plug fell from an Alaska plane shortly after takeoff.

Boeing has been trying to repair its reputation for years after crashes in 2018 and 2019 involving a different version of the 737 Max plane that killed 346 people.

Its popular 737 MAX planes have been grounded globally for more than 18 months.

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In January, part of an Alaska Airlines plane crashed mid-air

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