Video of an American Airlines flight headed to Phoenix, Arizona, from Columbus, Ohio, bursting into flames in mid-air after a flock of geese collided with it has been released.
The plane, a Boeing 737-800, took off at 7:43 a.m. on Sunday but was forced to make an emergency landing back at John Glenn Columbus International Airport at 8:22 a.m. Although initial reports stated an engine had caught fire, John Glenn Columbus International Airport corrected the report later, writing that “the aircraft experienced mechanical issues, not an engine fire.”
Two passengers, Marni Kallestad and Ryan Brink, recorded the view from the plane as it caught fire, The Daily Mail reported.
Pilots of an American Airlines flight turned the plane around shortly after it took off from the airport in Columbus, Ohio, after an apparent bird strike caused the engine to catch fire pic.twitter.com/ih45zfGFq1
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 24, 2023
One witness said the collision with the geese caused the plane to emit “wonky, pulsing noises.”
“The flight landed normally and taxied safely to the gate under its own power,” American Airlines reported. “The aircraft was taken out of service for maintenance and our team is working to get customers back on their way to Phoenix.”
“Genuinely, this is the first time in my life that I was ready to die,” Matthew Danek, a passenger on the plane who saw the plane catch fire, told WBNS. “There were extreme rumbling vibrations. The noise was deafening.”
Danek said the fire lasted roughly three minutes while other passengers were panicked, albeit silent.
“Immediately the mood changed,” he continued. “Like everyone stopped talking. We all got quiet. We all kind of did that look around like ‘You hearing this? You seeing this? We in this right now.’”
“All the crew was absolutely amazing. The pilot was even, I dare say, funny during it. He had a good sense of humor. His poise was astounding,” Danek recalled.
“This is something that airline crews train over and over again, under varying conditions, bad weather, daylight, nighttime,” aviation safety expert Shawn Pruchnicki told WBNS. “So regardless of why the engine failed, it’s something that as a former airline pilot, it’s something that we are very, very well trained to handle.”
Last week, an Airbus A321 plane experienced a fire due to mechanical failure just before takeoff from Charlotte Douglas Airport in North Carolina. The plane was headed to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Passengers disembarked safely, and the aircraft was decommissioned, according to Simple Flying.
American Airlines A321 experiences an engine fire moments before takeoff from Charlotte Douglas Airport. The crew successfully extinguished the fire and all passengers disembarked safely.
📹 cuhhlayre pic.twitter.com/YIjCWU9JZM
— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) April 22, 2023