Dramatic video taken by a passenger on a recent Delta Airlines flight shows the damaged engine that forced the plane into an emergency landing in Raleigh, N.C. this week.
In the footage of the July 8 flight, the nose cone of one of the engines has come loose, and can be seen bouncing in the open mouth of the engine.
Passengers on the flight, which was heading from Atlanta to Baltimore, posted on Twitter that the cabin of the plane began to fill with smoke from the damaged engine.
Delta said in a written statement that “the flight crew of Delta flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore elected to divert to Raleigh, North Carolina, after receiving an indication of an issue with one of the aircraft’s engines.”
It’s “extraordinarily rare” for a nose cone, also known as the “spinner” of an engine, to come loose, said aviation expert John Cox of Safety Operating Systems.
“I have been around this type of engine (a Pratt and Whitney JT-8) since 1980,” Cox said. “I have never seen or heard of a spinner coming off.”
According to Cox, the airplane wasn’t in danger of crashing, “as all airliners can fly with one engine inoperative.”
For those on the plane, it was still a “completely terrifying situation,” said Twitter user @RAREsheis. After sending a tweet to Delta, criticizing them for not releasing a public statement about the incident, she followed up with a video of the airplane staff helping passengers through the ordeal, praising the crew for doing “an amazing job in staying and keeping us all calm, while preparing us for an emergency landing.”