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Severe Turbulence Rips Off Passenger Plane’s Winglet During Flight

Envoy Air Flight 3729 is here to prove that in a dramatic fashion. The regular passenger flight from Charleston, South Carolina to Dallas, Texas was diverted after encountering severe turbulence that ripped off part of its wing. Said part landed safely, albeit unexpectedly, in Birmingham, Alabama. ( More...

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Well, if memory serves me correctly, for many years planes flew with no winglets, so losing one should not be an issue unless it takes part of the wings with it. I'm sure the plane didn't feel any different.
paul trubits 3
You mean like walking around with just one shoe on?
sparkie624 5
Pretty close... If you only wear 1 shoe, it makes it so much easier to walk in a circle in one direction... :)
James Simms 4
I live in the Birmingham area & was never on the local news. Only way anyone would have otherwise known of it happening would’ve been if it had crashed.
royalbfh 10
What an awful attempt at reporting.
Randy Barron 1
You mean, a car-focused Web site shouldn't me mentioning airplanes?
Cleffer 1
Being that it's about aviation, I for one, am SHOCKED. SHOCKED, I SAY!
Franky16 1
Not at all unusual on this site...
sparkie624 9
Quite interesting... I know the CRJ can fly with out them... If one gets severely damaged and has to be ferried, many times they have to be cut off. I remember once on a CRJ-200 we had one damaged by a Bird Strike. Had to ferry it to a Maintenance base... but first due to the way it was we had to cut it off. 2 of us there (we always send 2 for safety reasons) with a Saws-All an we both took pictures of each other cutting it off in preparation for Ferry! Certainly not your every day road trip, but goes down as one of the more memorable ones.
SkyAware123 3
All planes can fly with no wingtip.
mickey hines 2
Thinking the Envoy flight was an ERJ
Bayouflier 1
I'm sure the feds signed off on that.
sparkie624 4
Actually Part 121 Carriers for the most part can ferry without FAA Approval, so no. It was approved by the in house engineering department. All ferry permits are sent to the FAA in post. We have never had an issue with one.
Cleffer 6
"Generally, the plane should not have parts fall off at 36,000 feet."

I love The Drive.
Victor Engel 9
Better that they fall off at lower altitudes.
ma056769 2
Yea agreed. I'd rather not have parts of the plane falling off during flight.
sparkie624 1
Most certainly.... If one would hit you, it would be quite painful...
Huck Finn 2
Well that would certainly tighten my sphincter a bit!
rbt schaffer 1
In 1964 a B-52 lost most of its vertical stabilizer (rudder) in turbulence... Air---Powerful Stuff
As well as a Boeing E-6 (707) a couple decades later. Tails, schmails...
sparkie624 3
Back in WWII many Bombers and Fighters had there Vertical stabs shot off and were still able to make it back to their bases! You can actually be missing more than you would image and still make a survivable trip back to safety! You do what you have to do to keep it airborne and save the lives of everyone on board!
How does it work that every kid that ever built a paper airplane made 2 extra creases for winglets?
Do actual planes have winglets for the same reason? Because it's cool!
sparkie624 0
No... The Winglets save fuel... makes the engines more fuel efficient.
OOOoooooWeeeee......somebody done got a new chair for the deck of the mobile home.....
Anne Bracken 3
There is always someone who feels the need to insult and diminish a whole group of folks…hope that made you feel better.
James Simms -2
They’re a better class of losers that I’d rather associate w/than yourself
mickey hines -2
Well Charlie, aint you just somebody special? NOT
Sophomoric article at best. Standup comedy material.
Neil Ward -2
Not quite sure how a winglet "reduces" fuel economy
Peter Ashby 8
You have to read the whole sentence,"ability to break up wingtip vortices that produce drag and reduce fuel economy".
Andy Bowland 4
the wingtip vortex reduces fuel economy, not the winglet.
sparkie624 2
To answer your question, the answer is simple... Coming off the wing tips is Air Vortices coming off the wing tips and actually help push the plane! - Winglets reduce wingtip vortices, the twin tornados formed by the difference between the pressure on the upper surface of an airplane's wing and that on the lower surface. High pressure on the lower surface creates a natural airflow that makes its way to the wingtip and curls upward around it.
James Cross 1
Neil was pointing out that the article said winglets *reduce* fuel economy. They *increase* fuel economy.
Randy Barron 1
Neil was quoting out of context, because the article says the exact opposite. It says wingtips reduce the vortices, which are the things that reduce fuel economy.

Reading comprehension is definitely not taught these days.
sparkie624 1
the Winglets utilize the Vortices to their advantage to save fuel.
Smoother airflow, reduced drag; plus, they look rather neat and provide a great surface for a flag (Virgin Atlantic) or logo placement.


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