Philippine Airlines 777 Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Flames

A Philippine Airlines service operating from Los Angeles International to Manila Airport made an emergency landing yesterday (21st November) due to an engine fire. The incident happened shortly after takeoff.

A Philippine Airlines flight returned to LAX after an engine fire. Photo: Glenn Beltz via Flickr

The details

Philippine Airlines Flight PR113 had only just left Los Angeles International Airport when shortly after it returned back to the ground following an engine fire. The service, bound for the Philippines, left the airport at 11:45 local time but returned just 15 minutes later.

The Boeing 777-330ER, registered RP-C7775, returned in an emergency landing after passengers spotted flames licking up from under the wing. Arriving back to Los Angeles International at 12:00, the crew were able to disembark all 342 passengers safely. One passenger videoed the incident:


Disrupted travelers were given a meal and hotel accommodation whilst the airline worked to secure their onward travel to Manila.


Despite the seriousness of the situation, the air carrier provided a well-managed emergency procedure. The airline thanked the crew onboard. In a statement on the incident, it said:

“We greatly appreciate the calmness and patience of our PR113 passengers, who cooperated well with our cabin crew during the flight and the emergency landing…We likewise recognize and appreciate the calm professionalism exhibited by our experienced flight and cabin crew, headed by Captain Triston Simeon and Purser Joanne Marie Dirige, in executing the unscheduled landing and taking care of our passengers.”

Philippine Airlines has not revealed any further details about the reason behind the engine fire. It simply blamed a “technical fault”. We contacted Philippine Airlines for more information about the status of the affected aircraft, but it was unavailable for comment.

A fleet revamp

Whilst an engine fire is not great news for Philippine Airlines’ operations, it might help with discussions to invest in other aircraft. Philippine Airlines is looking to rejuvenate its fleet with a number of newer models to replace its aging aircraft. Like the Boeing 777-300ER.

The aircraft has 10 777-300 aircraft at the moment but it’s recently been in talks with Boeing about acquiring two 777X aircraft. It’s also recently done away with its Airbus A340 aircraft, retiring the last after some 22 years.

New aircraft would allow it to up its offensive in the global market. This year Philippine Airlines increased its capacity between the Philippines and the United States by 33%. But will it actually change its aircraft to grow even more?

Will Philippine Airlines invest in new Boeing 777X aircraft? Photo: Boeing

At 22 years old, it made sense why Philippine Airlines might want to retire its A340 fleet. But when it comes to the 777-300, these aircraft are not nearly as old. According to Planespotters, the average age is just 5.7 years and it’s got older aircraft in its fleet. One such model is the Airbus A320. It has 10 of those in a -200 series with an average age of 9.8 years. Might the airline be looking to update its fleet to soon?

What’s more, PAL Holdings which is the parent company for Philippine Airlines has posted a third-quarter loss of $56.2 million, according to Flight Global. It also posted losses in the second quarter of 2019 of $43.6 million. Perhaps now is not financially the best time for a fleet revival.

The trail on the negotiations between Philippine Airlines and Boeing has gone cold, in the press at least. What’s left is to wait and see how Philippine Airlines plays its hand and whether it reaches a new aircraft deal.

Do you think Philippine Airlines will invest in the new Boeing 777X aircraft? Let us know in the comments.


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I was in transit to Osaka via Manila October 3 . I saw one Philippines 777-300ER on way to Runway ,parked next to Hangars Lufthansa Technik . He had an engine open, they tried to fix guess.


Is phillipinws


Is Philippines airline owned by the government?. I just feel like


Was it the Pratt Whitney or Rolls Royce engine?


From the video, this doesn’t look like an engine fire – instead it looks like a compressor stall or surge, a condition which is much less dangerous than an engine fire. The crew basically did the right thing by returning to the airport and as the linked video explains, likely applied proper procedures if they didn’t shut the engine down. It’s important that the public not jump to conclusions in these situations before fully understanding the circumstances. One important note-planes are designed and crews are trained to handle an engine failure during or after take-off. Additionally, prior to each takeoff and landing, computations are made to ensure the aircraft has the necessary performance to takeoff, land or go-around with 1 engine inoperative based on the available runway.


Being on the flight, it was quite clear the flight attendants and PAL front desk are Ill equipped to handle any disaster scenarios. A significant time had passed after passengers alerted the flight attendants of the engine failure before they made a mad scramble to alert the pilot. Instead of asserting calmness and stoicness, it was fear and indecision that further exacerbated passengers’ fears. Following suit was the mediocre and disorganized handling of the front desk in terms of herding passengers and accommodating customer service. It was a volley of the call center deferring to the front desk and the front desk to the call center as either department seemed clear or uncertain at what to do next. It was/is still a comedy of errors that keeps cascading down the line.


Philippines and Singapore will probably get their first 777X about the same time as their first snow storm. Despite all the hype, the 777X is still a phantom aircraft.

Gerry Stumpe

You guys need an editor? Another clunky second paragraph.


landing 15 min. after take off.
No time for fuel dumping.
Can this happen with full fuel load.?


So happy to see this outcome. Well done to the crew