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Delta Jet Lands Safely After Engine Fails on Takeoff

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- An engine on a Delta Air Lines Inc. jet failed shortly after takeoff today, spewing out small parts, and was forced to return to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Flight 1846, a Boeing Co. 737-800 bound for Minneapolis, landed safely, the airline and the Federal Aviation Administration said. There were no injuries among the 119 passengers and six crew members.

The incident was a so-called contained failure, with pieces of the engine blown out the back instead of piercing the casing, said Kathleen Bergen, an FAA spokeswoman, in a telephone interview. An uncontained failure is considered more serious, because flying chunks of metal can damage critical systems.

“Deputies with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office recovered several small pieces of what appears to be parts from the damaged engine,” Greg Meyer, a spokesman for the county aviation department, said in a statement.

Delta moved the passengers to another plane, which arrived in Minneapolis about 2:32 p.m. local time, about 3 1/2 hours later than scheduled, according to industry-data tracker FlightAware.com.

Flight 1846 was scheduled for a 7:30 a.m. departure. During takeoff, the captain received a warning about possible damage to one of the 737’s two engines and immediately shut it down, said Anthony Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Delta.

Engine Replacement

Another engine is being trucked from Atlanta to Florida, where it will be installed on the 737 tonight so the jet can return to service tomorrow, Black said. The damaged engine will be sent to Atlanta for further inspection to pinpoint the cause of the failure, he said.

There was no evidence of scorching that would indicate a fire, and the pieces ejected from the engine appeared to be turbine blades, the FAA’s Bergen said. “Small parts -- nothing significant,” she said.

Boeing’s 737 is the world’s most widely flown airliner, and is a workhorse on domestic routes within the U.S. The 737-800 typically seats 162 to 189 passengers, depending on the cabin configuration, according to Boeing’s website.

It’s powered by CFM56-7B engines from CFM International, a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Hart in Washington at dahart@bloomberg.net; Ed Dufner in Dallas at edufner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net.

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