A Texas-bound United Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing after one of its engines overheated while flying over the Pacific Ocean, passengers say.
Flight 1516 departed Liberia, Costa Rica, to Houston, Texas, Monday before the 737 experienced "a maintenance issue," according to United Airlines spokesperson Erin Benson.
The pilot returned to Liberia's Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport for an emergency landing.
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Jody Genessy, a passenger on the flight, told NBC News it was one of the most terrifying things he has ever experienced.
"We circled for about an hour dumping fuel and when we went in for a landing, the plane tipped quickly to one side," Genessy said.
"My friends on the other side of the plane said they saw the wings almost touched the tarmac and then went too far back to the other side...and he [the pilot] pulled up. It was about a split second. Then we circled around again and it was wobbly and we were all freaking out."
"It was a pretty horrifying way to end an amazing weekend," Genessy said.
Genessy told NBC News United provided him and his wife meal vouchers and a room at a nearby hotel ahead of their rescheduled flight Tuesday.
"United is getting a lot of grief right now, and I’m a Delta guy, but my hat’s off to the pilot," Genessy added. "As far as I’m concerned, he saved our lives."
A new aircraft was dispatched to take passengers to Houston Tuesday.