A passenger plane landing at Newark Airport bounced up and down on a runway, causing ceiling panels to fall into the aisle, before a pilot canceled the landing and took off back into the skies above New Jersey, witnesses said.
The rough ride caused panels in the Boeing 767 to fall from the plane’s ceiling onto the aisleway below as flight attendants rushed to check on passengers.
United flight 557 was traveling from Houston on Tuesday afternoon with 214 passengers aboard when it made the hard landing, according to airline officials.
A passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, said the plane came down and skipped on the runway, so the pilot lifted it back into the air. The pilot then tried to land again but the plane came down even harder and rebounded several times before it took off again.
"The pilot jerked the plane up to cancel the landing entirely," the passenger said.
The passenger said that it was during the second series of bounces away from the runway that ceiling panels fell, revealing what appeared to be mechanical boxes and other parts of the plane that are normally hidden away.
"One of the panels fell right next to my seatmate and I," the passenger recalled.
He said the panels collapsed into the aisle and that no one was hurt when they came down. The passenger said people didn’t appear to be afraid and helped hold the fallen panels.
As the plane was flying away from the airport an announcement came over the intercom saying, "It's our pleasure to welcome you to Newark Liberty International Airport," sparking chuckles from the cabin.
Another announcement asked flight attendants to return to their seats. A third announcement apologized for the bumpy ride.
The plane circled over Newark Airport for about 30 minutes before finally landing to the cheers of passengers.
"My seatmate and I were joking that we were gonna be the next season of 'Lost,'" the passenger said.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, United Airlines confirmed that paneling came loose. The airline company said the plane landed safely and there were no injuries.
The plane was taken out of service to be evaluated and repaired, airline officials said.