The pilot operating a United Airlines flight en route to New Jersey was forced to make an emergency landing in Florida Wednesday afternoon following a sudden engine explosion.
One passenger aboard the United Flight 2397, Cliff Maloney, shared news about the scare in a tweet shortly after the incident.
‘Life is so damn precious. Just had an engine EXPLOSION and EMERGENCY landing on my @united flight from Fort Myers to Newark,’ Maloney wrote in the tweet.
Maloney, who is the president of student organization Young Americans for Liberty, snapped a selfie next to the pilot, who he dubbed a ‘hero’.
United Flight 2397 made an emergency landing at the Southwest Florida International Airport Wednesday afternoon after a small engine explosion
One passenger aboard the United Flight 2397, Cliff Maloney, (pictured right with the pilot) shared news about the scare in a tweet shortly after the incident
‘This guy, with 1 engine without power, brought us down safely,’ he added in the viral tweet.
The passenger told USA Today the small explosion, a result of a mechanical issue that is currently being investigated, happened just 10 minutes into the air.
The 79 passengers aboard the plane initially heard a ‘loud banging noise’ that came from a second row seat.
Moments later, the pilot said over the intercom: “‘Ladies and gentleman, we’ve had engine failure.” Words you never want to hear,'” Maloney told USA Today.
‘Life is so damn precious. Just had an engine EXPLOSION and EMERGENCY landing on my @united flight from Fort Myers to Newark,’ Maloney wrote in the tweet
The pilot managed to keep calm as he told the passengers to listen to the orders of attendants.
‘The landing was great… I hate to be the fanboy who takes a selfie with him, but I’ve got to remember this moment,’ Maloney said of the pilot.
The plane safely landed back to the Southwest Florida International Airport around 1pm. It took off roughly 45 minutes prior.
Passengers were then rebooked on another flight back to Newark.
United Airlines Spokesman Charles Hobart said in a statement the engine is currently being inspected. The spokesman did not identify the pilot.