Engine panel flies off Alaska Airlines flight landing at US airport

The plane was en route to San Diego, but it never made it because it was forced to turn around (file photo).

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The plane was en route to San Diego, but it never made it because it was forced to turn around (file photo).

An “unusual vibration” on an Alaska Airlines flight has prompted an emergency landing at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, US.

As the aircraft was landing, a piece of metal paneling flew off, Alaska Airlines said in a statement.

The vibration was first heard on the left side of the Boeing 737-900ER as it departed from the Washington airport.

The plane was en route to San Diego, but it never made it because it was forced to turn around.

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As the plane returned to Sea-Tac, the cowling – the metal paneling that covers the engine – detached.

A video posted on Twitter shows the metal piece fly off as the plane landed.

The flight had 176 passengers and six crew members, airline officials said. No one was injured.

Everyone was booked onto another flight.

The two pilots had 32 years of combined experience.

“They, along with our flight attendants, handled the incident with tremendous professionalism and care,” the airline said in the statement. “We also greatly appreciated the patience of our guests during this event.”

– The Charlotte Observer