DENVER (CBS4) – Mike Vena was traveling with his wife Saturday from Baltimore to Hawaii for a getaway when the unthinkable happened. The engine on his plane apparently failed.

A airplane that appears to have smoke trailing from its right side seen heading east towards Denver International Airport seen from Montview Blvd and Peoria St. Feb. 20, 2021.

An airplane that appears to have smoke trailing from its right side seen heading east towards Denver International Airport — seen from Montview Boulevard and Peoria Street. (credit: Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

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“I was sitting in the middle of the plane and there was a loud explosion,” says Mike, “The plane just started shuddering and it was that way for about a half an hour until the plane landed.”

Denver International Airport said on Twitter, “United flight 328 departed from DEN this afternoon and returned shortly after with reported mechanical issues. The aircraft has landed safely and no injuries have been reported. Big thanks to the pilot and crew for safely landing the aircraft.”

Mike says despite the frightening scenario it was a calm return trip to the airport thanks to the professionalism of the flight crew and pilot.

“There was no panic among the crew there was no panic among the passengers,” Mike says.

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Still he couldn’t help worry, mostly about the people he left behind.

“I just worried about my kids because they’re not with us so they’re away at school and this is our first vacation alone in 21 years,” Mike says.

After 30 minutes the plane landed. Mike and the rest of the passengers are thankful for their pilot who got them on the ground safely.

“If we could have stood up we would have given him a standing ovation,” he said.

Mike said he is going to continue on to Honolulu and enjoy his trip. Their new flight was scheduled to leave at 6:30 PM Saturday.

Michael Abeyta