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Engine Part Falls off Northwest Jet

March 20, 1991

EAGAN, Minn. (AP) _ An engine part about 5-feet by 3-feet fell off a Northwest Airlines jumbo jet today when a bird was ingested into the engine shortly after takeoff, a Northwest spokesman said.

The three-engine DC-10 jet returned safely to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and there were no injuries, Northwest spokesman Doug Miller said.

The part known as a tail cone landed in a grassy area about 300 feet from a warehouse-office complex in this southern Twin Cities suburb, which is just to the southeast of the airport, Police Chief Pat Geagan said.

Several people on the ground ″heard a bang, saw a puff of smoke off the left side of the aircraft and then saw this thing come down,″ Geagan said.

Miller said the tail cone, which streamlines air flow at the back of the engine, is designed to break away when something is ingested into the engine ″and that’s what it did.″ The tail cone is a ″nonoperational piece of equipment″ and engines can be operated safely without one, Miller said.

Flight 570 was bound for Miami with 219 passengers and crew, Northwest said.

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