Searching for a lost winglet

I read online that a passenger airplane lost its winglet in turbulence while crossing Alabama and had to land early in Birmingham. I was unable to find any news about where the winglet fell and decided to see if I could figure it out from FlightAware’s ADSB data.

Shows route airplane took before and after losing its winglet.

When displayed on Google Earth, the track of N233NN looks almost perfectly straight, so I wrote some code to take the long, straight segment across Georgia and Alabama and compare it to a perfect great-circle route. Viewed this way, there is a very sudden 75m deviation to the right followed by a recovery. This seems like it could be consistent with losing a winglet.

If my observation is correct, the winglet most likely fell off between the labeled point and Millerville which corresponds to the maximum deflection on the graph.

I spent half an hour flying over the area and was unable to locate the winglet.

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