One of two jet engines on a commercial flight carrying 54 people broke down and showered debris over Colorado last week, but the plane returned to the Denver airport and landed safely, federal investigators said Wednesday.
The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating the Thursday incident involving a Mesa Airlines Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Challenger operating as America West Express Flight 2985 from Denver to Phoenix.
No injuries were reported to the 50 passengers and four crew members, and the plane suffered only minor damage, the NTSB said. Some parts of the left engine fell off as the plane was climbing through 24,000 feet over a sparsely populated area of Teller County about 60 miles south of Denver.
Debris fell over an area about 25 miles long, the NTSB said.
The agency asked the sheriff's office for help in recovering the missing parts, and said some could cause injuries if not handled properly. The sheriff's office referred calls to the NTSB.
Mesa Airlines spokesman Brian Gillman said maintenance was up to date on the engine but declined to comment further. Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne declined to comment, citing the NTSB investigation.
According to NTSB records, a plane of the same model operated by PSA Airlines experienced a similar problem Oct. 17, 2005, while climbing near West Grove, Pa. No injuries were reported.
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One of two jet engines on a commercial flight carrying 54 people broke down and showered debris over Colorado last week, but the plane returned to the Denver airport and landed safely.
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