Engine covering breaks off United Airlines flight 1175 mid-flight

Tarmac in Honolulu

CTV News Toronto journalist and aviation photographer Tom Podolec contacted Haddad and reported that the flight from San Francisco lost pieces of its engine about 36 minutes before landing at Honolulu, the intended destination.

A United Airlines Boeing 777 carried out an emergency landing at Honolulu after losing an engine cowl while flying over the Pacific.

Those on-board had heard a loud bang around 35 minutes before the Boeing 777-222 was due to land, which turned out to be the sound of an engine cover coming off.

Passenger Haley Ebert posted a video on Twitter that showed the plane shaking as it descended to land.

Passenger Maria Falaschi described the flight as "the scariest" of her life as she posted images on Twitter of the damaged engine above the cloud line. "It was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom".

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In later comments, she added that the pilots and crew "did a great job", also saying that "they did everything to prepare us" and that "they handled it well". "They looked them straight in the eye and that was real".

The flight crew declared an emergency, telling passengers to "brace for impact" in case of a rough landing, according to The Telegraph.

The FAA said it would investigate the incident.

It wasn't immediately clear what went wrong, but photos appear to show the plane with a missing engine cowling, or covering. "The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally".

In November 2010, a Qantas A380 from Singapore to Sydney made an emergency landing after a Rolls-Royce engine exploded shortly after take-off - an incident that grounded all six A380s in Qantas' fleet for almost a month.

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