Friday, March 28, 2008

US Airways Wing Panel Broke Loose, Struck Fuselage

[A passenger on the US Air flight took a photo of the missing wing panel. Via MyFox Washington, D.C.]

A 5 x 7 foot panel from the left wing of a US Airways 757-200 tore loose last Saturday and struck the fuselage, cracking one window, according to an FAA report on the scary incident.

The FAA incident report, filed yesterday, describes the damage to the aircraft as "substantial."

The flight was at 27,000 feet and 45 miles from Baltimore when the accident occurred. It was bound to Philadelphia from Orlando and landed without further incident. There were 174 passengers on board. The FAA incident report was filed yesterday.

[It wasn't a great weekend for US Air and safety. The day before the wing-panel accident, as noted here in a recent post, a US Airways pilot accidentally discharged a firearm in the cockpit
of a flight from Denver to Charlotte. No one was injured.]

According to the initial FAA report on the wing-panel incident, because "the loss of the wing panel adversely affected the flight characteristics of the aircraft, the event has been classified as an accident. "

That preliminary FAA report went on:

"The wing panel has not yet been located. Safety Board
investigators are using a specialized computer program to
perform a Ballistic Trajectory Analysis with data such as
the aircraft ground track, speed, prevailing winds and other
factors to create a search area where the missing panel is
most likely to be found. Once a specific search area has
been created, local authorities in the vicinity will be
notified that an aircraft part may be located in their
jurisdiction. ..."


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