Jonesboro residents react to Fed Ex engine drop

Jerod Simpson and Ryan Hoog can't stop talking about it.

"We seen something falling out of the sky and I said what in the world is that?" recalls Simpson.

"Just a big chunk of steel coming down," adds Hoog.

Both work for a utility company and were on the road Tuesday when this big chunk of steel hit the ground near Jonesboro, Arkansas.

"Heard a thud," says Hoog.

It landed about 70 yards from the truck in which they were sitting.

"Right after we got out, there was still pieces falling and once it stopped we went out to see what it was," says Hoog.

"When we looked at it, we said that's got to be a jet engine," recalls Simpson.

They were right. It was a five or six foot section of engine from an MD-10 FedEx cargo jet. The plane took off from Memphis bound for Seattle at 2:51 Tuesday afternoon. The pilots reported engine problems over Otwell, Arkansas around 3:45, probably after part of the engine broke off. The plane turned around and returned to Memphis around 4:30. The impact of part of its engine left a pretty large crater.

"Glad it didn't hit us," says Hoog.

Or anyone else for that matter.

"Yea, if it had hit a neighborhood or a house--it would have been bad," says Simpson.

They hope the next FedEx delivery they encounter is a little easier to handle.

Investigators are looking at the aircraft and its engines in an effort to determine exactly what happened, why it happened, and how it happened. The NTSB is also looking into ways to keep this from happening again.