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May 07, 2008

Panel falls off AA plane, flight lands safely

American Airlines employees have been buzzing about an April 20 flight from D/FW to Paris in which a panel from the plane's air conditioning system apparently fell off after takeoff.

According to a message the airline sent to pilots today, there was a "loud noise" and "short-lived vibration" as the Boeing 767 passed about 10,000 feet. The captain consulted with the crew and mechanics on the ground, and they determined it posed no threat and may have been cargo shifting in the belly of the jet.

When the plane landed, it was discovered that a lower fuselage panel, which covered the air conditioner, was missing. Still, the airline said that safety was never compromised and that the flight crew made the right decision in keeping the plane aloft. An internal investigation into the incident is underway.

The incident occurred just one week after American had to ground its fleet of MD-80 jets for inspections.

UPDATE,  9:30 a.m. THURSDAY

We've posted some photos of the big scary hole in the bottom of the plane.

- Trebor Banstetter

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Comments

Chitragupta

Ahhhhhh a good reporter would have asked, "Why did this panel fall off in the first place? Was there any previous discrepancies on said door? How long had said door been in need of repair? How many other doors in the fleet are "deferred?"

This harks back to the days under RLC where the 727 "lost" an engine over New Mexico due to a diet of "Blue Ice". History repeats itself once again.

Darlene Hensley

Did anyone hear about the AA flight I was on June 6th2008? Flight 1853 to Colorado Springs..we lost our engine at 12,000 feet. Thank goodness we avoided a crash landing!

Think AA needs to purchase some new planes

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