Frontier Flight Makes An Emergency Landing As Engine Cover Blows Out

A Frontier Airbus A320-200 has had to make an emergency landing in Las Vegas today when their right engine cover blew off!

No passengers were harmed, but it was quite a startling sight!

What happened?

Frontier Airlines (Which is owned by the same company that has just invested into WOW Air yesterday) flight 260  had just taken off from Las Vegas inbound to Tampa, Florida when it suffered a catastrophic failure of its right engine covering.

A statement from the airline has revealed that the engine cover came loose and was lost.

During takeoff on Frontier flight 260 from Las Vegas to Tampa this morning, a section of an engine cover called a cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft. Our pilots followed procedure and immediately returned to the airport. The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely. – Frontier Statement

The plane circled around the airport, climbing no higher than 5,000 feet and was able to make an emergency landing.

The flight map of the plane as it took off and made a landing.

No passengers were harmed, and despite having no cover, the engine continued to operate normally. Essentially, the cover acts just like the hood on a car, covering the main engine components. Whether or not the plane could have reached its final destination is unknown, but fortunately, it seems the damage was slightly more than cosmetic.

For the stress that passengers had to go through, Frontier was happy to provide them a breakfast voucher for the experience. On Twitter, readers were quick to make light of the situation and ask the important questions:

Frontier commended the quick actions of their crew in returning the plane back to the ground.

Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants. We are working to get our passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. – Frontier Statement

Update: It turns out that Frontier has been a little more generous and offered all passengers on board a $500 voucher for future travel and a full refund.

How could this happen?

The aircraft involved in the incident is only four years old (Tail number N227FR delivered in July 2014). The problem will be fully investigated, but if we were to hazard a guess it could have been caused by wear and tear on the engine casing, or potentially an inappropriate secure after maintenance.

As each Frontier plane has a unique animal on their tail, we can actually visually identify the plane with its ‘Grizwald the Grizzle Bear” fin.

Frontier currently has a fleet of 82 planes, 21 of which are the same A320-200 as the one involved in this incident. Frontier Airlines provides very cheap fares as an ‘ultra low cost’ carrier, making up their profit from extras such as baggage and food.

Featured image supplied via Twitter.

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