NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


January 31, 2007

Washington, DC -- A team of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators, with assistance from other parties, is investigating an uncontained engine failure on an America West Express jet in the area near Denver, Colorado. In an effort to determine the cause of this event, the NTSB is seeking the engine components that fell from the airplane, and informing the public of how to assist.

The background of this incident is as follows: On January 25, 2007, at 4: 50 P.M. Mountain Standard Time, a Mesa Airlines, Incorporated, Bombardier CL-600-2B19 Challenger Jet, N17337, operating as America West Express Flight 2985, from Denver, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona, while climbing through 24,000 feet, experienced an uncontained engine failure. The left engine cowling, fan, and other forward components separated over sparsely populated mountainous terrain in an area beginning just south of Woodland Park, Colorado and running south-southwest to 10 miles southwest of Cripple Creek, Colorado. The airplane's flight crew declared an emergency and immediately returned and landed uneventfully at the Denver International Airport at 5:30 P.M. Mountain Standard Time. The captain, first officer, flight attendant, 1 extra crewmember, and 50 passengers were not injured during the incident. The aircraft itself sustained minor damage to the fuselage, left engine pylon, and tail section during the engine separation.

The NTSB has notified local officials in Teller County that this event occurred, and that there could be engine debris on the ground in their jurisdictions. The NTSB has requested their assistance as well as the assistance of other state and local agencies in locating the missing engine parts. Members of the public should contact the Teller County Sheriff's Department (Telephone 719-687-9652) of the location, estimated size, and description of the part or parts found. These parts could cause injuries if not handled with proper precautions, therefore, should not be handled by members of the public.

The NTSB team is being led by NTSB air safety investigator Jennifer Kaiser of the Central Mountain Region in Denver. Members of the team include: NTSB engineers, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors; Mesa Airlines; Bombardier Canada (the airplane manufacturer); and General Electric Corporation (the engine manufacturer). A radar analysis team was assembled and has gathered all FAA, company, and military radar information. This information is being correlated with data from the airplane's flight recorders in an effort to pinpoint the potential locations of the engine parts.

NTSB Media Contact:
Terry N. Williams



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.