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Engine explosion causes early morning scare for Southwest flyers

Engine explosion causes early morning scare

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH-TV) — Passengers on a Southwest flight from Indianapolis to Las Vegas got an early morning scare that forced the plane to turn around.

Southwest says a mechanical issue with the number one engine was to blame.

A man sitting right over the wing said the plane had only taken off a few minutes before the engine “exploded.”

“This is one of the reasons they make depends,” said Brian Koning.

Koning is able to joke about the experience when he facetimed I-Team 8 reporter Kody Fisher from the Vegas airport.

In the moment, it was far from funny.

“We were six feet from that engine and it just, it didn’t blow off the plane, but it was a big fireball and a big sound. When it first happened, my wife and I kinda grabbed hands and held on, and was like, ‘oh my god. This is not good.’ It was kind of surreal. It was almost dream like, because it’s something you kind of see in a movie,” said Koning.

“Is it one of those moments; did your life flash before your eyes,” asked Fisher.

“I don’t think I had that time to react. I was just worried about, ‘What am I going to do if I go down?’” said Koning.

According to Koning, the flight circled Indianapolis for 35 minutes before landing at the airport.

“They had to really grind the brakes for us to stop, because we didn’t have that reverse thrust, and we were too heavy because we had not dispensed with the fuel,” said Koning.

A couple of hours after deplaning, they got right back on a replacement plane to go to Vegas.

“How did you and your wife get the gumption to hop right back on a flight to Vegas?” asked Fisher.

“I think we’re still in shock. We’ve got tickets to go see Garth Brooks at Caesars Palace tomorrow night for my birthday. My birthday’s tomorrow and my son turns 21 on Sunday at Midnight, and him and his girlfriend are flying from North Carolina to meet us tonight here in Vegas, so I think it was just a ‘you know, lets do it.’ I think the chances of this happening again are slim to none, so I just didn’t really seem to think about it,” said Koning.

“Is this one of those situations where you just go to the roulette table and place a $100 on Black, and just see if your lucks running good?” asked Fisher.

“I might do that,” said Koning while laughing.

Koning is very complementary of the people who made it possible for him to go test his luck at the tables in Vegas.

“Kudos to Southwest, the pilots, for their skill in getting us down,” said Koning.