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United flight makes emergency landing after part of wing breaks off

Video taken by a passenger on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Boston appears to show a portion of the wing slat coming apart.
United flight makes emergency landing after part of wing breaks off
Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 20, 2024

A United Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing in Denver on Monday while en route to Boston after a chunk of the plane’s wing appeared to come off. 

According to a statement the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided to ABC News, United Airlines Flight 354 safely landed at Denver International Airport around 5:15 p.m. local time after crew members reported a “possible flap issue.” 

The Boeing 757 departed San Francisco International Airport with 164 passengers and was headed to Boston Logan International Airport.

Video captured by one of the passengers on board shows part of the wing’s slat shredded off. 

According to NASA, wing slats help to increase lift during times like takeoff and landing.

The airline arranged for another plane to take the passengers on to Boston as originally planned. 

The FAA said it will continue to investigate the incident. 

Boeing has repeatedly faced scrutiny over the operational safety of its aircraft in recent months. 

In January, a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet lost its door plug mid-flight, leaving a gaping hole in a plane full of passengers forced to make an emergency landing. The Max 9 model planes have been grounded until they can be deemed safe. 

Not long after, Southwest announced that it is no longer including the Boeing Max 7 plane in its fleet plan for the year, and United said it’s removing the Max 10 model from its fleet plan. 

This was expected to be a big year for Boeing and its Max production. But as of now, the FAA is no longer allowing Boeing to expand production of all Max models — the 7, 8, 9 and 10 — until production meets the agency's quality and safety standards.

This story was originally published by Katie Parkins at Scripps News Denver

SEE MORE: Are Americans' thoughts on plane safety swayed by recent incidents?

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