Dramatic audio captures Southwest pilot declaring an emergency

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Dramatic cockpit audio captured the frantic pilot of a Southwest Airlines flight asking for an “immediate return” to Denver and declaring an emergency after an engine cover ripped off shortly after taking off with 143 people on board.
A few seconds later, he tells the controller: “Let’s go ahead and declare an emergency for Southwest 3695 and we’d like an immediate return.
“We’ve got a piece of engine cowling hanging off, apparently,” he adds.
Terrifying video posted on X by ABC’s chief transportation reporter Sam Sweeney shows the cover flapping in the wind in full view of the passengers.
“We’re moving everybody out of the way,” the controller advises the pilot, who is busy running through checklists.
A Southwest rep told The Post the incident was the result of a “mechanical issue” on the plane, which was manufactured in 2017.
“Southwest Flight 3695 returned to Denver International Airport this morning and landed safely after experiencing a mechanical issue.
The plane made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon, with a hole the size of a refrigerator.


With 143 people on board, a Southwest Airlines flight’s pilot was captured on dramatic cockpit audio pleading for a “immediate return” to Denver and announcing an emergency after the engine cover tore off shortly after takeoff.

The pilot of the Boeing 737-800 headed for Houston states on a recording obtained by LiveATC . net, “We don’t know the nature of the emergency but apparently several passengers and flight attendants hear something loud hit the wing.”.

“Let’s go ahead and declare an emergency for Southwest 3695 and we’d like an immediate return,” he says to the controller a short while later.

“Looks like we have a piece of engine cowling hanging off,” he continues.

The passengers can clearly see the cover flapping in the wind in a terrifying video that ABC’s chief transportation reporter Sam Sweeney posted on X.

Subsequently, the pilot notifies traffic control that he intends to execute a flaps-up landing, a technique whereby the devices, which are typically lowered to offer additional lift at slower speeds, are maintained raised in certain emergency situations.

The cowling broke off and hit one of the flaps, as confirmed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot is busy going over checklists when the controller says, “We’re moving everybody out of the way.”.

The pilot replies, “I thought the flap from the inboard of the side between the engine and the fuselage ripped off on takeoff,” when pressed for more details regarding the damage.

“The crew in the back are telling us that we can’t see it from the cockpit,” he continues. Though our structure is damaged, the engines appear to be in good working order. “.

With the plane’s flaps up and its heavy gross weight—it still had roughly five hours of fuel—the pilot then requests to modify the landing runway.

The aircraft made a safe landing a short while later, and emergency vehicles met it. The terrifying incident left no one injured.

The Post was informed by a Southwest representative that the aircraft, which was built in 2017, had a “mechanical issue” that caused the incident.

“This morning, Southwest Flight 3695 made a safe landing back at Denver International Airport following a technical malfunction. Our customers will arrive at Houston Hobby on a different aircraft, roughly three hours later than planned, the representative stated.

About 25 minutes after takeoff, the aircraft made its way back to Denver.

The Post’s questions were forwarded to Southwest by a Boeing representative.

A number of safety incidents have plagued the troubled aerospace behemoth, and CEO Dave Calhoun has declared he will leave his position at the end of the year.

As of Jan. 5. A door plug on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 blew off at 16,000 feet, resulting in a nearly catastrophic mid-flight blowout.

The plane with the refrigerator-sized hole made an emergency landing in Portland, Oregon. Luckily, there was only one injured passenger out of the total of 177.

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