Watch: United Flight From San Francisco to Boston Diverted Due to Damage to One of Its Wings

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NEW YORK (AP) — A United Airlines cross-country flight was cut short and the jetliner landed in Denver after one of its wings was damaged.

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A passenger on the San Francisco-to-Boston flight Monday said he had just put in earbuds and started to doze off when he felt the plane shaking.

“All of a sudden I heard this violent vibration like I had never heard before,” Kevin Clarke said in an interview Tuesday.

Clarke said one of the pilots walked down the aisle of the main cabin, then returned to the cockpit and announced that the plane had minor damage to its right wing and the flight would be diverted to Denver.


Clarke opened his window shade and took video of the damage that was later broadcast on Boston 25 News. The 67-year-old, a ski-race announcer from Maine, was comforted that the pilot believed the plane was good enough to fly, but he began having doubts when the jet hit turbulence.

Clark began checking the wing repeatedly, until he decided that he just couldn’t look anymore.

“I was just going to pray that we made it to the other side of the turbulence,” he said.

United said the Boeing 757-200 carrying 165 passengers landed in Denver to “address an issue with the slat” on one of its wings. Slats are moveable panels on the front or leading edge of the wing and are used during takeoffs and landings. Chicago-based United did not say what caused the damage which left pieces of the slat torn away.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that it is investigating the incident.

The plane landed safely in Denver, and passengers were put on a different plane and arrived later in the day in Boston, according to the airline.

The incident comes at a time of heightened passenger jitters after last month’s blowout of a door panel on an Alaska Airlines jetliner flying over Oregon. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report that bolts designed to prevent the panel from moving were missing on the Boeing 737 Max 9 jet.


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Walter S
Walter S
2 months ago

William Shatner can explain exactly what happened to the wing!

Ari
Ari
2 months ago

More shoddy airplane construction. DEI to blame?

Nachum
Nachum
2 months ago

The Boeing 757-200 is between 20-40 years old. An older aircraft, even with proper maintenance, is not always the most reliable means of transportation.

Kvetch
Kvetch
2 months ago

CRACKLE, this is your pilot speaking. Folks on the left side of this plane can actually see me out in the wing duct taping it. Took the shortcut there thru my cracked cockpit windshield. Not to worry, as both items will be replaced once we land, this isn’t a BoeingMax737 and if oxygen masks do deploy, they are the only add-on still free at no charge. And if you’re transporting one of those so-bulky black hat carriers, we kindly ask you to toss it out bc it’s a weight balance issue and obviously a top priority concern of ours.

Paul Near Philadelphia
Paul Near Philadelphia
2 months ago

More free advertising for Boeing.