Metal wing covering falls off China Eastern Airlines after takeoff

China Eastern Airlines said that a malfunction in Flight MU588 was detected shortly after takeoff.

    2019/08/15

NSFW    NEW YORK — Passengers onboard China Eastern Airlines Flight MU588 from New York to Shanghai were in for a surprise when metal covering the airplane's wing fell off after takeoff on August 12.

Shocked travelers were quick to share images on social media.

The flight took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:02 p.m., two and a half hours after its scheduled time of 4:25 p.m., according to Flight Radar 24.

It's unclear why the flight was delayed.

Hou Yangfang, a Fudan University professor who was traveling on the flight, told the Shanghai Daily that several passengers had noticed that the plane's left wing was missing part of its metal covering shortly after takeoff. They were quick the warn the flight's crew members.

The flight's captain then made an announcement saying that the aircraft would be heading back to New York's JFK International Airport. But first, the plane circled many times past Albany. Hou explained that the aircraft did this to discharge fuel.

After the plane landed in JFK International Airport at 7:25 p.m., all 300 passengers had to wait for an hour and a half inside the airplane. They also had to wait an additional two hours for their luggage.

Hou told the newspaper that they weren't given any more information about the situation, though, he added, they had been accomodated.

In a statement to the Shanghai Daily, China Eastern Airlines said that a malfunction in Flight MU588 was detected shortly after takeoff. The company added that another flight would be arranged for the passengers soon.
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