What Do We Know About The Southwest Engine Cover Incident?

On Sunday, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 engine cowling broke off during takeoff in Denver and hit the wing flap, prompting an FAA inquiry.

An engine cowling cover? A metal or composite engine cowling protects an airplane engine. The engine, fuel tanks, and electrical systems are in the nacelle, which is separate from the fuselage.

An engine cowling improves cooling, speed, and airflow by reducing drag and protecting engine controls. Cowlings must withstand high temperatures and vibrations.

Southwest Flight 3695 landed safely at Denver International Airport after a mechanical issue, the company said. "We regret their delay, but customer and employee safety is our first priority. Southwest says its maintenance staff are reviewing the plane.

In 2022, the Seattle Times claimed that dozens of similar 737 and Airbus A320 accidents had occurred in the last 30 years without injuries.

Most cowling incidents were caused by maintenance faults related to a fan cowl door latching failure missed during preflight tests, the paper reported.

A new Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 door plug fell off midair in January. The National Transportation Safety Board believes four crucial bolts were not placed when it departed Boeing.

Last month, the FAA investigated how a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 lost an exterior panel before landing safely in Oregon Friday. FAA: A post-landing airline assessment of the 25-year-old plane found a missing panel.

Last fatal U.S. passenger airline crash was February 2009, about 15 years ago. Last Monday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called air travel the "safest form of travel in America."

The FAA will interview and study maintenance records to determine the issue. Airline safety violations can result in FAA enforcement proceedings or fines.