NTSB: 'Separation of a fan blade' led to engine cover falling off Honolulu-bound plane

NTSB: 'Separation of a fan blade' led to engine cover falling off Honolulu-bound plane

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A United Airlines plane that had to make an emergency landing as it flew to Hawaii last month was about 32,700 feet in the air before its engine cover ripped off, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Report.

At around noon on Feb. 13, the Honolulu-bound flight from San Francisco, Calif. experienced an "in-flight separation of a fan blade and subsequent loss of the inlet and fan cowls of the right engine" while descending into the Daniel K. International Airport, the report said.

It wasn't immediately clear what went wrong that day, but photos appear to show the plane with a missing engine cowling, or covering.

Investigators said once it started to come in for landing, the engine compressor stalled, forcing crews to shut down the engine. The crew then declared an emergency and the plane landed without incident.

All 363 passengers and 10 crew members on board flight UA 1175 were safe, but many passengers expressed panic and fear just before landing.

The NTSB is still continuing its investigation and is expected to release a full report in the coming months.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.