A United plane’s engine fell apart mid-flight, and the passenger accounts are terrifying

Thanks to modern technology, air travel is now safer than ever. But accidents do happen, and when they do, they can be terrifying. On February 13th, passengers aboard a United Airlines plane flight shared harrowing images of the plane’s engine falling apart mid-flight.

While United Airlines flight 1175 was traveling from San Francisco to Honolulu, the cover on one of the Boeing 777’s engines came off in midair. The malfunction happened over the Pacific Ocean, less than an hour before the flight was scheduled to land. The pilot called for an emergency landing, and thankfully, the plane arrived safely at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. No passengers were harmed.

One passenger, Allison Sudiacal, told CNN affiliate KHNL that before the landing, the plane was shaking and rattling.

"They let us know that we had to brace for impact in case there was a rough landing," she said. "It was scary. But they did a really good job."

Other passengers shared the terrifying experience on social media.


As of February 13th, there was no clear cause for the incident. Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told the New York Times that the malfunction is currently being investigated.

The situation that passengers experienced on UA flight 1175 is terrifying, but if you suffer from a fear of flying, rest assured that accidents like this are extremely rare. In 2017, there were zero air travel deaths, so overall, flying is a remarkably safe way to reach your destination. We hope that the FAA is able to find the cause of this mechanical failure, but in the meantime, we’re relieved that everyone on board is safe.