The incident happened on the Flybe service between Glasgow and Birmingham on Thursday.
The plane returned to Glasgow using just one engine.
John MacInnes, a journalist with Johnston Press, initially thought the engine had failed on the BE783 service.
He tweeted a picture of the engine and wrote: “Number one engine has failed and we’re returning to Glasgow for an emergency landing!”
He later shared footage of the plane after it arrived safely at Glasgow Airport.
Flybe said there was no “engine failure” and the pilot shut down the engine as a precaution.
A spokesman for the airline said: “Flybe can confirm that the flight returned to Glasgow Airport following a technical fault that resulted in the captain electing to shut down the number one engine as a safety precaution.
“The pilot followed all required procedures and the aircraft landed safely without incident.
“The Bombardier Q400 aircraft is designed to continue flying safely with one of its engines shut down but, as is standard procedure, the aircraft was met by the airport’s emergency service vehicles.
“All 46 passengers disembarked as normal when the aircraft arrived on stand.
“The safety of its passengers and crew is the airline’s number one priority and the airline apologises for any inconvenience experienced.”