On September 29th 2019, a United Airlines Boeing 737-800 was climbing out of Denver when the left engine peeled open.
The aircraft, registered N27239, was performing flight UA293 from Denver to Orlando, when the pilots stopped the climb at 11,000 feet as a result of the left CFM56 engine cowling bursting open.
Unable to proceed to their destination without the risk of further damage to the engine and aircraft, as well as a fuel burn penalty, the pilots initiated a return to Denver.
The aircraft made a successful touchdown on runway 16R approximately 30 minutes after departure. None of the 196 passengers and crew on-board were injured.
A passenger filmed the disturbing scene as the engine cowling flapped about in the airstream:
Greeting the aircraft upon landing were emergency services and a collection of engineers to assess the damage.
United Airlines is likely to open an investigation to determine the cause of the incident and prevent it from happening in the future.
Incident information thanks to The Aviation Herald