- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

NEW YORK — An American Airlines plane landed safely at a New York airport Wednesday with a failed engine dropping metal debris onto a home. No injuries were reported, either on the aircraft or the ground.

The crew reported a loud noise just after takeoff, which Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said indicated the engine on the right side of the McDonnell Douglas 83, a newer model of the MD80 series, had failed.

American Flight 309 had left New York’s LaGuardia Airport at 8:15 a.m., heading for Chicago. The plane was quickly diverted to Kennedy Airport, about 12 miles from LaGuardia.

The plane, with 88 passengers and a crew of five, landed at JFK at 8:36 a.m. — 21 minutes after takeoff. The pilot taxied to a gate and the aircraft was inspected. Pieces of metal — the shattered blades of the turbofan engine that apparently disintegrated — were found embedded in the fuselage of the aircraft, Peters said.

The plane had flown over the borough of Queens, where people in the College Point neighborhood reported hearing a loud noise. Investigators later found about four dozen pieces of metal that had crashed onto a rooftop.



Police and aviation investigators photographed the debris, which was taken to LaGuardia for inspection. The bulk of the engine remained attached to the plane’s fuselage, Peters said.

There was no immediate indication that the engine failed because of a bird strike, which caused a US Airways plane to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January.

The plane that ditched in the Hudson lost both engines after it hit a flock of Canada geese less than 2 minutes after taking off from LaGuardia. All 155 people aboard that aircraft survived.

Also Wednesday, a small plane with faulty landing gear touched down safely at Detroit’s Coleman A. Young International Airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Elizabeth Isham Cory says the Piper 32R single-engine aircraft circled the airport as it tried to fully lower its landing gear. The pilot was the only person on board and wasn’t hurt.

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