Loud noise prompts return of Southwest Airlines flight

Reuters News
Posted: May 31, 2011 7:58 PM

SACRAMENTO (Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines flight on route from Sacramento to Portland returned to the airport on Tuesday after the flight crew heard a loud noise from one of the plane's engines, an airline spokeswoman said.

A Sacramento maintenance crew was examining the Boeing 737 but had not determined the cause of the noise or whether the engine had stopped functioning during the flight, Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Ashley Dillon said.

Flight 691 from Sacramento International Airport had 142 people onboard.

"The flight landed safely and all passengers were accommodated on a flight leaving about an hour and a half later," Dillon said.

Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the plane returned after "a report that one of the engines was out."

The plane was at an elevation of about 4,000 feet when the pilot heard the loud noise, Dillon said.

A bird strike has not been ruled out as the cause of the problem, she said.

(Reporting by Leidhra Johnson, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis, Editing by Dan Whitcomb)