A small piece of an airplane's engine crashed through the roof of a home located near Midway Airport and no one was injured, federal authorities said.
One of the plane's engine turbine wheels, a disc 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter that holds the turbine blades in the engine, came to rest 2 feet (60 centimeters) from the foot of a bed where homeowner Dorothy Gohn was sleeping on Friday. She was not injured.
The blades broke off from disc and have yet to be found, said Tony Molinaro, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The multiengine aircraft, apparently being used as a cargo plane, landed safely without any indication of distress to air traffic control, Molinaro said.
The pilot did not report the engine failure to authorities, Molinaro said. Instead, FAA inspectors found the plane themselves, with significant engine damage and some wing damage, in a hangar at Midway Airport, Molinaro said.
The plane, a Mitsubishi MU-2B-36, arrived at Midway en route from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is registered to a firm called American Check Transport, which also does business as Flight Line Inc., according to the FAA.
A message for comment left Friday afternoon with Watkins, Colorado-based American Check Transport was not immediately returned.
Gohn said she was sleeping about 1 a.m. Friday when a heavy thud woke her up. She saw a hole in her ceiling and found a piece of metal with teeth like a gear about 2 feet (60 centimeters) from the foot of her bed.
"I went to pick it up and it was really hot. You couldn't touch it. So I left it and when I finally picked it up, it had burned through my carpet, all the way to the floor," Gohn said.
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The pilot of the Mitsubishi MU-2B-36 did not report the engine failure to authorities. Instead, FAA inspectors found the plane themselves in a hangar at Midway Airport.
In one of every four cargo accidents this decade, The Miami Herald found, planes suffered mechanical failings that had gone undetected by companies or the FAA.
The FAA asked city aviation officials in the spring of 2004 to submit safety recommendations for the zones, which are spots where planes can safely stop if they overrun a runway.
Safety zones were recommended a year ago