Engine Fire Prompts Air India Airbus A321 Diversion

An Air India Airbus A321 was forced to divert for an unscheduled stop yesterday. The unscheduled diversion was prompted as a passenger reported seeing flames from an engine out of the window. No injuries have been reported as a result of the incident.

Air India, Airbus A321, Tail Pipe Fire
This Air India Airbus A321 suffered a tailpipe fire yesterday. Photo: Aero Icarus via Wikimedia

Engine fires always need to be taken seriously. Should they spread to other parts of the aircraft, they could potentially cause severe consequences. While engines are equipped with fire extinguishers to put out engine fires, it is still advisable to land sooner rather than later following a suspected engine fire. This is exactly what the Air India pilots opted to do yesterday.

Air India flight 670

Air India’s flight AI670 is a daily scheduled flight between Bhubaneswar (BBI) toward the east of India, and Mumbai, on the opposite side of India. The flight typically takes between two hours and two hours and 25 minutes.

AI670 was scheduled to depart from Bhubaneswar at 16:40, however, this varies by day. Following the cross country flight, the Airbus A321 was due to touch down in Mumbai at 18:45. This represents a total scheduled flight time of two hours and 45 minutes. However, sometimes the figure is marginally higher or lower.

Air India, Airbus A321, Tail Pipe Fire
The aircraft diverted to Raipur following reports of an engine emitting flames. Image: FlightRadar24.com

What happened yesterday?

Passengers onboard yesterday’s AI670 service likely didn’t know what they were getting into while boarding the aircraft. According to the Av Herald, the aircraft suffered an engine tailpipe fire. The incident was first spotted by a passenger staring out of the window. Cabin crew relayed the warning to the pilots.

When the pilots got wind of the suspected engine fire, they began to check instruments for unusual readings. Thankfully, everything was showing as normal in the flight deck. However, the pilots decided to play it safe and to divert as a precaution.

Following the decision to divert, the pilots discharged a fire extinguisher into the affected engine. The aircraft then continued on to Raipur, where it made a precautionary landing. Upon landing, an evacuation of the cabin was ordered. Passengers were evacuated using the aircraft’s slides on the runway in Raipur. No injuries have been reported as a result of the landing or evacuation to the best of Simple Flying’s knowledge at this time.

The aircraft involved, VT-PPT is a ten-year-old Airbus A321 according to Planespotter.net. Following the incident, it remains on the ground in Raipur. However, a replacement aircraft, VT-PPF is ferrying the affected passengers to their intended destination of Mumbai with a significant delay.

Were you onboard flight AI670 yesterday? What did you experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!