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United flight makes emergency landing after passengers notice 'wing coming apart' on Boeing plane: Video
Image Source: WBTS video screenshot

United flight makes emergency landing after passengers notice 'wing coming apart' on Boeing plane: Video

A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing on Monday after passengers noticed the "wing coming apart" on the Boeing 757-200, the New York Post reported.

A flight from San Francisco to Boston was forced to divert after a passenger, Kevin Clarke, noticed that one of the aircraft's wings appeared to be tearing apart. Video taken by Clarke and posted by his wife on social media showed the damage.

"Just about to land in Denver with the wing coming apart on the plane," Clarke stated in the video moments before the plane safety touched the ground.

"It came apart when we took off in San Francisco, and we're just about on the ground. Can't wait for this flight to be over," he continued. "They've got another plane waiting for us to continue to Boston. Touchdown any second, and the nightmare will be over."

The plane landed safely in Denver at 5:15 p.m. local time on Monday, WBTS reported. No injuries were reported.

Clarke told the news outlet that he heard an "incredibly loud vibration" as the plane took off. According to the passenger, approximately 45 minutes into the flight, the pilot left the cabin and showed up near his seat to view the wing's damage.

"He goes behind me and I was kind of sleepy, so I wasn't paying much attention at that point, but then he goes back to the cockpit and he comes on the PA and says, 'We've discovered we have some damage on one of the front flaps and we're going to divert to Denver and put you all in a different plane,'" Clarke told WBTS.

Another passenger on the same flight posted photos of the wing's deterioration on Reddit.

"Sitting right on the wing and the noise after reaching altitude was much louder than normal. I opened the window to see the wing looking like this. How panicked should I be? Do I need to tell a flight crew member?" the passenger wrote.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident. It is unclear at this time what caused the damage.

A spokesperson for United Airlines told WBTS, "United flight 354 diverted to Denver yesterday afternoon to address an issue with the slat on the wing of the aircraft."

"The flight landed safely and we arranged for another aircraft to take our customers to Boston," the spokesperson added.

Col. Steve Ganyard, a WCVB contributor, told the news outlet that the damage was located on the "trailing edge" of the wing's slat, an extendable device that increases lift during the takeoff and landing.

"If the damage had been more to the front part, it could have affected the controllability of the airplane," he explained. "Luckily, in this case it was in the rear and it really didn't have much effect on how the airplane handled."

"Any damage to the leading edge of a wing is bad because that wing no longer functions the way it was designed to," Gaynard noted.

"When you see this kind of break, it could be a fatigue," he continued. "That airplane is fairly old, and perhaps the part just gave way because of age or because of use, or it could have been some sort of maintenance problem where it wasn't properly rigged and it was rubbing against the wing itself."

According to online records, the Boeing 757 aircraft is 29 years old and originally went into service in 1994 with Continental Airlines.

Boeing has come under scrutiny recently after an Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in January when an exit door panel blew out mid-flight. The United States National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report found that the Boeing 737 9 MAX airplane may have left the factory without key bolts, Blaze News previously reported.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →