Passengers Say Engine, Tire Failed on Southwest Flight Before Takeoff at Love Field

July 5, 2022

For a group of passengers trying to get to California on Friday, their flight from Dallas to Long Beach included some tense moments and a lengthy four-hour delay.

As Southwest Airlines flight 850 was about to take off, the Boeing 737′s engine failed and a tire blew, according to multiple passengers on the flight. That forced the 12:25 p.m. flight to a halt on the runway for repairs.

“They come on and they say the plane blew a tire and the left front engine is blown,” said Sarah Roland, 41, who was traveling with her family from Denton to Disneyland.

Southwest, in an email, described the plane’s problems only as a “mechanical issue.”

“Earlier today, the pilots operating flight 850 from Dallas to Long Beach canceled their takeoff procedures and stopped the aircraft,” according to the company’s statement. “The flight was towed to the gate where customers deplaned and were re-accommodated on a different aircraft. Safety is always our top priority, and we apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.”

The flight never left the ground and no one on board was harmed, according to passengers who spoke with The Dallas Morning News.

Passengers were kept on the plane for at least an hour, as workers changed the blown tire. The plane taxied back to its gate to let passengers deboard after the tire was changed.

“We were literally about to go wheels up. We were full speed ahead,” said Robert Gasteiger, who was heading home to Orange County, Calif.

Passengers began boarding a different aircraft at 4:34 p.m. after a captain arrived.

“I really think people were sort of in shock that that just happened,” Gasteiger said.

Gasteiger and Roland both commended Southwest workers for how they handled the situation, and the airline also gave each passenger a $300 credit.

Ellie and Jake Neal of Fort Worth were aboard, too, with their 10-month-old son, Tate, when they felt extremely hard braking. It felt like turbulence to them, and smelled like rubber. They were making a pitstop in Long Beach, Calif., before heading to Mexico for a vacation.

“I’m just grateful that it happened before we took off,” Ellie Neal said.

©2022 The Dallas Morning News. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.