‘Wing coming apart’: Passengers land safely after plane damaged midflight

Wing damage

A flight from San Francisco bound for Boston had to make an emergency landing in Denver after the plane’s wing started “coming apart” mid-flight.

>> Read more trending news

Kevin Clarke was among the 165 passengers on board United Flight 354 en route to Boston on Monday when it had to be diverted to Denver. He recorded the unplanned stop, saying “Just about to land in Denver with the wing coming apart on the plane,” our sister station WFXT reported.

The video, posted by Clarke’s wife Kimberly, shows chunks missing from the plane’s wing.

My husband Kevin’s United Flight from San Francisco to Boston just made an emergency landing in Denver. The wing was coming apart in the air! Everyone is safe thank God.

Posted by Kimberly Clarke on Monday, February 19, 2024

Clarke told WFXT, he saw bird strike forms while boarding the flight.

“I’m like bird strike? That’s not good. We take off, I heard this loud buzzing noise, and then it faded away so I didn’t think much of it and all of a sudden the pilot is coming back, so I threw my window open, peeked out the window and the whole leading edge of the wing was destroyed.”

Clarke said the pilot took photos of the damage and talked to ground crew before diverting to Denver.

United confirmed that the plane had a problem with a wing slat.

KMGH reported that the Federal Aviation Administration released a statement to ABC News saying, “United Airlines Flight 354 landed safely at Denver International Airport around 5:15 p.m. local time on Monday, February 19, after the crew reported a possible flap issue. The Boeing 757 departed San Francisco International Airport and was headed to Boston Logan International Airport. The FAA will investigate.”

The passengers transferred to an awaiting plane and got to Boston about three hours after the planned landing.