Some days ago I posted information about a Southwest Airlines engine failure at Dallas. The FAA reported the Boeing 737 returned because of some vibration in the number 2 engine.
Apparently those information was wrong. Just a few days after posting I received a few comments of people who have been on this flight (#438). They stated it was no vibration, but a fatal engine failure.
Joe – Nov 21st, 2007 said:
This is not true. It was not during takeoff. There was alot of damage. There was no vidration. It doesnt say anything about an uncontained explosion at 25,000ft. I was sitting on that engine watching it happen with my own two eyes. The fan blades shot out towards the plane leaving holes on the engine cowlings and a huge hole on th other side.There was no vidration, but a huge explosion. That report is false and they should really clean it up! The blades could have easily penatrated the fusalage causing a crash, or went through and killed a passenger. (…) I have pictures and I will let people see them (…)
Jen – Nov 22nd, 2007 said:
I was on this flight also- We all thought we were going to die! We said our goodbyes. There was an explosion and holes in the right engine with something sharp still sticking out of the engine. The plane started shaking so bad. The flight attendant was crying and one was getting oxygen because she was hyperventilating. They were able to turn the flight around and land with no incident but not before the longest 20 minutes back to the ground and the plane being surrounded by firetrucks. A big chunk of the engine flew off and luckily it went away from the aircraft because if it came toward us, we wouldn’t be here. The chunk was on the outer side of the engine not seen from our view but could be seen while walking off the aircraft. There were smaller holes though in our view of the top of the engine. I saw the pilots taking photos when we made it to the ground so hopefully the FAA will do the right thing and investigate how this could happen.
Bob D. – Dec 2nd, 2007 said:
To everyone interested in Flight 438… Sorry if my co-passengers made some inexcusable spelling errors… They are probably still traumatized. To the idiots that think it was no big deal for this event to occur… IF you had been on that flight – you would still be scraping the turd out of your pants… The incident started with a large “explosive” type impact to the entire plane – resulting in a massive shaking and vibration throughout the entire plane – that felt like every rivet was working loose. For a few seconds, I initially thought a bomb had gone off in the luggage…We then experienced severe vibrations for appx. 10 minutes.
If the explosion had directed shrapnel towards the plane – armor or not, I am glad it did not, asI am reasonably sure it would have pierced through, or propelled the armor as a secondary missile – like a knife through butter, through the fuselage.
The FAA’s report – a few days afterwards, was a one liner, and did not adequately address the scope and nature of what transpired. I am surprised that this incident was not covered in-depth, or more publicized. Do your homework, research, BEFORE you make any assumpions.
I can say the crew and pilot, and the pilot’s on-board, all did a professional job – under the circumstances. The Pilot, who landed on one engine, had made an announcement, “On the simulator, we prctice landing on one engine…” He did it real time, and made it happen! He refused $20.00 for drinks. One of the impressive pilots on travel informed me, that the simulator did not adequately cover the entire spectrum of mechanical events that occured… Lessons learned!
The only negative thing that happened was someone gave a legal speech before our take-off on the next plane out of Dallas… “Acts of nature…” blah blah etc. etc. Did not need to hear that!
We got a free drink on that flight! Awesome! (Next time I would like it during the incident) P.S. I said an prayer, immediately after the “explosion” and shaking…It and all the others must have been heard – say your prayers, and by the way…thank you LORD! and thank you for blessing the pilot with professionalism and skill, thank you for blessing the entire array of personnel who make flying safe! I would get on a plane anytime – all the passengers, and I did, on the next flight out of Dallas!!! Of course we flew Southwest!
To all you skeptics and engineer types who simply explain away the human element of the entire episode – Try a little humility… and a prayer.
I asked for submitting these photos to make them publicly available, unfortunately I didn’t get anything.
In the meantime – and that’s really great – some pictures somehow leaked to the internet.
The following photos were posted at the PPrune Forum.
Lately these pictures are even circulating among the Dallas tv stations, a WFAA news reporter told me.
Thanks to Jack for submitting the link.
For Preliminary NTSB Report visit:
Preliminary NTSB Report on Southwest Engine Failure Incident