Plane Drops Engine Parts on Queens Rooftop

A Chicago-bound American Airlines plane flying out of LaGuardia Airport dropped engine parts on the roof of a Queens business before landing at JFK Airport, according to an airline spokesperson.

American Airlines Flight 309 took off at 8:17 a.m., but was forced to make an emergency landing at JFK Airport at 8:35 a.m. after an engine failed, American Airlines spokesperson Andrea Huguely said.

Port Authority crash crews responded and discovered metal fragments in the fuselage of the plane.

Debris from the plane fell on the roof  and damaged some cars at Varsity Plumbing in College Point.  Workers heard an explosion around 8:20 a.m. before debris began hitting the roof. Some of the pieces were so hot they melted into the roof.

"I think it's a turbine.... I've seen it before," said American Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Jim Causa.

Federal officials collected a five gallon bucket of debris, according to Bob Bellini, owner of the business.

The plane's pilot heard a loud noise as the plane was climbing out of LaGuardia. The plane was landed safely and no injuries were reported among the 88 passengers and five crew members on board.

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 wing, Peters said.

On Jan. 15, Flight 1549 ditched into the Hudson after it hit a flock of Canada geese less than 2 minutes after taking off from LaGuardia. All 155 people aboard that aircraft survived.

In Wednesday's incident, the plane took off from LaGuardia in the northeast corner of Queens, turned north over Long Island Sound and made it as far as Stamford, Conn., before turning south again and heading for Kennedy Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the cause of the engine failure.

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