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Southwest Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Denver after engine part falls off Boeing 737 plane

A Southwest Airlines flight had to make an emergency stop after an engine part fell off during takeoff from Denver International Airport on Sunday morning. 

The Boeing 737-800 plane was headed for William P. Hobby Airport in Houston when the engine cowling fell off and struck the wing flap during takeoff, according to The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA released a statement Sunday morning saying that the flight returned safely and that an investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

“Southwest Airlines Flight 3695 returned safely to Denver International airport around 8:15 a.m. local time on Sunday, April 7, after the crew reported the engine cowling fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap,” the statement read. “The Boeing 737-800 was towed to the gate. The FAA will investigate.” 

BOEING PAYS ALASKA AIRLINES $160 MILLION IN CASH IN ‘INITIAL PAYMENT’ FOLLOWING MID-AIR BLOWOUT

A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet aircraft.

FILE- A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 jet aircraft. (United Airlines / Fox News)

Southwest Airlines also released a statement to Fox Business echoing the FAA.

Southwest Flight 3695 returned to Denver International Airport this morning and landed safely after experiencing a mechanical issue. Our Customers arrived at Houston Hobby on another aircraft, approximately three hours behind schedule. We apologize for the inconvenience of their delay, but place our highest priority on ultimate Safety for our Customers and Employees. Our Maintenance teams are reviewing the aircraft.

FOX Business also reached out to Boeing for comment on the matter. Boeing referred FOX Business to Southwest for information about their fleet operations.

According to Fox 31, this is the fourth time a Boeing plane has had to divert to Denver for issues so far this year.

The most recent issue happened on March 29, when a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Paris was forced to divert to Denver after flight crew members on board the Boeing 777-200 plane reported having an issue with one engine.

Prior to that incident, another United Airlines flight had to divert to Denver on its way to San Francisco from Boston when the Boeing 757-200 plane was reported to have wing issues mid-flight.

The first incident occurred in January, also involving United Airlines, when a flight headed to Las Vegas from Washington D.C., was diverted to Denver after flight crews reported a crack windshield on the Boeing 737-800 plane.  

Last week, United Airlines pilots were asked to take unpaid time off next month as the carrier contends with Boeing manufacturing delays. 

UNITED ASKS PILOTS TO TAKE UNPAID TIME OFF AS BOEING ISSUES PERSIST

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun

Dave Calhoun, CEO of Boeing, leaves a meeting with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in Hart Building, on Wednesday, January 24, 2024. Calhoun was meeting with senators about recent safety issues including the grounding of the 737 MAX 9 planes.  (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“We can confirm that due to the recent delays in Boeing deliveries, our forecasted block hours for 2024 have been reduced and we are offering our pilots voluntary programs for the month of May to reduce excess staffing,” the carrier previously told FOX Business in a statement. 

The announcement shows how safety concerns involving Boeing’s 737 Max are still impacting some of its biggest customers. 

According to a recent regulatory filing, United anticipated receiving 77 Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 jets in 2024. Now, it expects only 56. 

Boeing was also told it is not permitted to expand production of its 737 Max planes while regulators investigate the company and its supplier, Spirit AeroSystems. The investigation follows an incident in January involving a Boeing 737 Max 9 operated by Alaska Airlines in which a door plug on the aircraft blew out mid-flight.

Boeing announced that week that they had paid Alaska Airlines approximately $160 million in compensation following the January midair blowout. 

FAA STEPPING UP OVERSIGHT OF UNITED AIRLINES, MAY PAUSE SOME CERTIFICATIONS

NTSB official analyzes Alaska Airlines blowout

Investigator-in-Charge John Lovell examines the fuselage plug area of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 Boeing 737-9 MAX. (NTSB / Fox News)

According to an SEC filing, the money was “initial compensation” from Boeing “to address the financial damages incurred as a result of Flight 1282 and the 737-9 MAX groundings.”

The airline said that they lost “approximately $160 million” in their first quarter.

“As a result of the Flight 1282 accident and the Boeing 737-9 MAX grounding, we lost approximately $160 million in Q1 pretax profit, primarily comprising lost revenues, costs due to irregular operations, and costs to restore our fleet to operating service,” the filing said.

Alaska Airlines added that Boeing is “expected” to provide “additional compensation” in the future. The exact amount and its terms are not known at this time.

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The Jan. 5 incident prompted the FAA to ground similar Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners to allow for inspections, which resulted in thousands of flight cancelations.

FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese and Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.  

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