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Frontier passenger talks about engine issue that forced plane back to Las Vegas

Posted at 9:37 AM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-01 10:33:04-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Frontier flight headed to Tampa from Las Vegas was forced to return to McCarran International Airport on Friday morning.

The flight took off shortly after 7 a.m. Frontier Airlines says that a cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft.

During takeoff on Frontier flight 260 from Las Vegas to Tampa this morning, a section of an engine cover called a cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft. Our pilots followed procedure and immediately returned to the airport. The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely. Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants. We are working to get our passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible.

The plane landed at 7:26 a.m. The plane was able to taxi back to the gate. There were 166 people on the flight including passengers and crew. No injuries were reported.

One of those passengers is Jazmin Pedraza from North Las Vegas. She was on her way to Florida for a last vacation before Navy boot camp. She says the problems began before the flight even took off. She says passengers noticed a smell coming from the air vents, but didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until the rattly takeoff they looked out the window and see the exposed engine. She says many began panicking and called the flight attendants for help.

Luckily, the plane landed safely. Most were re-routed but Pedraza decided to cancel her trip. "I was supposed to be on vacation, and it all could have been over," she says. "Cherish life."

A spokesperson for Frontier Airlines also said that passengers were given refunds and received a $500 for a future trip. The passengers were also re-booked on other airlines in order to get them to their destinations as soon as possible.