Wing Damage Diverts United Airlines 757

No injuries were reported in Monday’s passenger jet incident.

A United Airlines 757-200 flying from San Francisco to Boston made an unscheduled stop in Denver on Monday because of damage to the leading edge of a wing.

“On Monday, United Flight 354 diverted to Denver to address an issue with the slat on the wing of the aircraft,” an airline spokesperson said. “The flight landed safely, and we arranged for a different aircraft to take customers to their destination, which arrived in Boston later that night.”

Slats are moveable panels on the leading edge (front-facing) part of the wing. According to the FAA’s Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, moveable slats are high-lift devices consisting of leading edge segments that move on tracks. Slats can be automatic or pilot controlled. 

There were no reports of injuries to the 165 on board the aircraft.

Photos of the damage were taken by Kevin Clarke, identified as a passenger on board, who said he heard an “incredibly loud vibration” as the jet took off. Clarke said he looked out the window and saw the damaged wing slat and used his cellphone to record images that he shared with the media. Other passengers also posted photos.

According to Clarke, approximately 45 minutes into the flight, one of the pilots came into the cabin and looked out the window at the torn-up wing then returned to the cabin and activated the public-address system to tell the passengers there was some damage to the wing and the aircraft was going to divert to Denver, where they would be put on another airliner to continued the trip.

The FAA said it is investigating the incident.


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