Swift Air Boeing 737 Suffers Engine Failure Flying To Florida

A Boeing 737-400 flight to Miami, Florida was forced to return to its origin airport in the Dominican Republic shortly after take-off due to an engine failure. The aircraft, operated by Swift Air, was on the second leg of a journey from Venezuela to Miami on Monday when it made an emergency landing. Crew and passengers were all unharmed.

Swift Air Boeing 737-400
A Swift Air Boeing 737-400 was forced to make an emergency landing due to engine failure. Photo: Glenn Beltz Via Flickr

What happened?

The Swift Air Boeing 737-400 (N420US) was still climbing at FL220 when the crew was alerted to a problem with one of the engines. This occurred around half an hour after departure from Las Americas Airport in the Dominican Republic.

According to The Aviation Herald, the crew took the decision to return to the ground in Santo Domingo and the aircraft landed safely approximately 40 minutes after take-off. Venezuela’s news site, El Pitazo, is reporting that the plane in question was manufactured in 1990. At this stage, there is uncertainty as to what exactly caused the engine to fail.

The Swift Air flight was operating in partnership with Venezuela’s LASER airline after the FAA issued an emergency order preventing U.S airlines operating in the country.


A Venezuelan LASER aircraft
Venezuelan airline LASER is currently banned from operating directly into the US. Photo: Bernal Saborio via Flikr

But why did it go viral?

A viral video has surfaced on social media of passengers reacting to the news that they would be making an emergency landing due to engine failure. People can be seen holding hands, praying and drinking whiskey in a tense video which has gained popularity on social media. In the video, passengers can be seen reaching over seats to hold hands in a group prayer while one man takes a large swig of whiskey before passing the bottle to a fellow passenger.

Passengers eventually reached Miami, almost six hours late, on a replacement Boeing 737-400, registration N438US.

A bad year for Boeing?

This isn’t the only plane Boeing has had engine problems with recently. According to AeroInside, another Boeing 737-400 had issues taking off from Johannesburg in September. Thai Airlines Boeing 777 flight was grounded before take-off due to uncontained engine failure and Ethiopia Airlines had to ground a Boeing 767 after a fire broke out in an engine during ascent from Dakar.

Boeing 737 MAX 8
The controversial Boeing 737 MAX is causing ongoing issues for Boeing. Photo: Liam Allport via Flikr.

News of the aircraft’s failure comes as Boeing announced a fall in profits of more than 53% compared to the same period last year.

With the two well-publicized incidents involving the Boeing 737-MAX this year as well as the delay on the Boeing 777X program, it seems as if this really isn’t Boeing’s year. Can they turn it around? Leave us a comment below.