A Southwest Boeing 737 en route from New York’s Laguardia to Dallas, was forced to make an emergency landing in Philadelphia Tuesday, as the left engine exploded, sending shrapnel into the cabin and killing one passenger. Fox News reports that the veteran pilot declared an emergency, as the main cabin instantaneously depressurized from engine debris being literally shot into the jet’s fuselage.
The crew executed a safe landing at Philadelphia International Airport, roughly twenty minutes after part of the engine disintegrated. The flight carried 144 passengers and crew, and the National Transportation Board confirms the fatality of a female passenger, the first in US airspace since 2009.
The harrowing roller coaster nightmarish one engine descent into Philadelphia, was even captured via social networking, by a passenger saying “goodbye” to friends and family. Actual flight data available on Flightaware.com, shows that the flight crew remained in control of Southwest flight 1380 after the explosion, as the aircraft descent peaked at -3,799 feet per minute, well within the performance standards of a Boeing 737.
The Flight Path of Southwest #1380 (courtesy Flightaware.com
However, the rate of descent was roughly twice the average for commercial airliners, adding to the frightening experience for passengers. The intensity of the near tragedy was only enhanced by the reality that the engine pulverization, opened up a hole in the cabin, and a female passenger was nearly “sucked out”, but a group of brave individuals were able to pull her back into the aircraft. Several passengers were treated for minor injuries.
Yes, a Boeing 737 is capable of flight with a single engine, and yes pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, deserves the lead “fist bump” for her amazing performance and nerves of steel, and the entire flight crew gets a secondary “bump” in managing the crises.
Read the Fox News article here.
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