BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– While some witnessed United Airlines flight 328’s engine explode from the ground, one pilot CBS4 talked with saw it as she was about to land at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.
“The aircraft was flying westbound, and it was just slightly north of the airport we were over landing on a runway 12L,” Madison Siegrist said.READ MORE: Cars Spun Out & Abandoned As Winter Storm Grips Denver Metro Area
Siegrist was in the middle of helping a student land a Cessna.
“We noticed the aircraft flying really, really low and we heard the noise and saw the black smoke that came from the engine,” she said.
They watched as the Boeing 777 turned back to DIA with its engine on fire; for the large plane, landing in Broomfield was not an option.
“Because of its weight, the power of its engines, it’s going to need a longer runway to land,” she explained.READ MORE: Businesses Near Convention Center Eager For Events: 'It's Our Livelihood'
It took a while for Siegrist to get over the initial shock of what she saw. Siegrist has grown up around aircrafts all her life, and she has never encountered anything like this. Her dad is a commercial airline pilot. She’s currently an instructor at McAir Aviation and training to be a pilot just like her dad.
“So that aircraft can fly and climb basically do everything that it’s meant to on one engine,” she told CBS4.
That is, as long as the engine debris doesn’t severely damage the other parts of the plane.
“Things like this can happen, but it’s very, very rare that it does,” Siegrist said.MORE NEWS: Union Organizing JBS Mass Vaccination Event: 'It's About Time They Are Prioritized'
And if they do, Siegrist assures, pilots are trained to handle exactly this kind of emergency. When CBS4 asked her if this experience made her nervous, she told us, she trusts herself, her training, as well as the long-established standards required for commercial airline pilots.