Although the flight landed safely, the crew was not able to steer the plane after landing and it had to be towed in.
Watterson, vice president of sales at Mountville Mills Inc., told ABC News he noticed a section of the plane’s wing was exposed and hydraulic fluid was leaking.
Watterson had been watching his son, David, who plays golf for Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, compete in Orlando. He was traveling from the men’s golf competition when part of the wing came off.
After sending the picture of the exposed wing to his son Zachary, who tweeted it, national news organizations began reaching out to speak to Watterson. Watterson said he had been flying standby and ended up in the window seat by the wing. The missing panel was probably 10 feet from Watterson, he said.
Black told CNN the incident was “highly unusual” but said “the problems with the wing did not affect the plane’s ability to fly.
Watterson commented that another person from the flight who was interviewed said everyone was panicking which “just didn’t happen.”
“I don’t want this to happen again, but I never really thought, ‘wow, this is it,’ ” Watterson said. “I thought everyone seemed to be stable and it obviously had a good ending.”
Amie Sites is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com. Follow her: @PharosAES.