ORLANDO, Fla. - A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane made an emergency landing at Orlando International Airport Tuesday afternoon.
Two pilots were on board the plane when the engine experience a performance issue that led to overheating, according to officials.
"We just lost our right engine. Need to declare an emergency," a pilot said during the incident, according to tower audio obtained by News 6.
The plane took off from OIA at 2:47 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Victorville, California, at 4:54 p.m. for a repositioning flight. The plane was being ferried to the California airport for long-term storage.
Officials said the landing took place at 3:08 p.m. on runway 36 and as it landed, the plane ingested debris which resulted in exhaust and discharge from the engine.
A Southwest Airlines official said the emergency landing was not related to the type of aircraft.
"Southwest 8701 operating as a ferry flight with no passengers onboard returned to Orlando International Airport just before 3pm EDT after Pilots reported a performance issue with one of the engines shortly after takeoff. The Crew followed protocol and safely landed back at the airport. The flight was scheduled to fly to Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., for short-term storage. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 will be moved to our Orlando maintenance facility for a review," Southwest Airlines said in a written statement to the media.
The emergency landing had no major impact on airport operations, a spokeswoman said.
A Southwest Airlines official said that the plane will undergo maintenance checks and once it is deemed safe to do so, it will fly to California for storage.
Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration said the agency will investigate the incident.
Check back for more updates on this developing story.
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