Right winglet of an American Airlines plane fell off mid-flight due to turbulence

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — An American Eagle Embraer E175 aircraft lost its right winglet over Birmingham, Alabama, at 36000 feet due to severe turbulence.

American Airlines Flight 3729 took off from Charleston International Airport for Dallas, Fort Worth, around 6 pm on Tuesday. The incident happened over Birmingham, Alabama, and the Pilots declared an emergency. The E175 with registration N233NN landed at the Birmingham International airport 35 minutes after the pilots' emergency declaration.

'Upon arrival, the aircraft was taken out of service for evaluation by our maintenance team, and all customers were transferred to another aircraft, which departed BHM for DFW last night,' 

said an American Airlines spokesperson.

A passenger on the plane shared some on Twitter. He tweeted that it was a 'surprisingly smooth flight despite the incident.

Winglets are extensions used on the planes' wingtips to reduce drag and boost fuel efficiency.

Airplanes can fly without winglets, but 'without them, the plane will have to deal with more vortex drag and consume more fuel.

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