Scary Video Emerges Of Philippine Airlines Engine On Fire

A terrifying video has emerged from the cabin of a Philippine Airlines flight which caught fire yesterday. The video, taken on board the Boeing 777-300 shows flames bursting from the right engine while passengers can be heard saying “something’s wrong”.

The plane was forced to issue a mayday call and return to LAX shortly after takeoff. Photo: Adam Taylor

The incident

Some people find looking out an aircraft window very relaxing. A nice view of some mountains, perhaps watching the sunset on the horizon or gazing in wonder at some incredible cloud formations. But there are some things you hope to never see when you look out an airplane window. Flames coming from the engine is normally pretty high on most people’s list of things to not see.

But that’s exactly what greeted passengers on a Philippine Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Manila. The aircraft was forced to declare “Mayday” and return to the ground after an engine surge caused flames to shoot out underneath the aircraft’s wing. The terrifying moment was captured on video by some shaken passengers who were understandably concerned.

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Horrified and shaking

In the video, you can clearly hear passengers in the background saying “oh no” with another passenger asking what was happening. Unsurprisingly another says “we should turnaround” but no doubt at this stage, passengers were wondering if turning around would be enough.

In interviews with NBC News at LAX airport after the incidence, passenger Debbi Syson said “I started shaking because I was horrified, like, what is going on?”

In another cabin video a passenger seems less concerned about the bursts of flames as he exclaims excitedly “oh my god, we’re on fire outta [sic] there. I’ve never seen that before”. No doubt he is hoping he doesn’t see a similar situation again.

A video has also emerged taken from the ground as the aircraft returned to Los Angeles airport. In the video, you can clearly see flashes of light as flames are visible underneath the wing.


Father Adam Taylor was trying to record his daughter’s reaction to being in a plane during take-off when he saw the flames. At first, he said he thought it might be normal, like a car backfiring, but quickly realized it was more serious than that. He said, “I know flight attendants aren’t supposed to panic, so at that point, I’m like this is pretty serious.”

Back on the ground

Although no one was harmed and the aircraft was only in the air for 12 minutes, it must have felt like a lifetime for the 342 passengers and 18 crew on board. The emergency landing may have been a relief but it came with its fair share of drama. The plane, still heavy with a full tank of fuel burst it tires with a loud bang as the plane reached the safety of the ground. Passenger Eugene Lowe recalled a loud noise, “And the wheels all popped. It was crazy”.

The airline is helping passengers with ongoing travel plans but for some, that means staying overnight in a hotel and several more days of traveling. However, despite the inconvenience, passengers must be happy to just be safely on the ground.

Have you ever been on board when something like this has happened? If you’ve ever looked out the window and seem flames we’d love to hear about your scary experiences.

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Norman

The usual fast and professional response from the PAL crew

Andrew Dowd

Yeah they suck.

pats

Glad the pilots train for emergencies like this – especially the aborts after V1.

320drvr

Sensational “journalism” it was a compressor stall. Minor stuff. Stop writing garbage to scare people. At no time were the passengers in danger.

Wern

You’re right, but pls keep in mind that the majority in the plane never heard of a compressor statt, least some of them have fear of flying!

Transworld

Actually its not. It can get so bad as to take an aircraft down (see United 747-400 out of SFO and a hilltop buzz job)

Incredibility they did not stop it, they just kept letting it bang away.

The next step is it breaks the links to the pylon and the engine comes off.

They should determinant Philippines flight rights to the US.

Anonymous

I agree with 320drvr but wonder why the engine was not shut down and secured… that’s normal checklist response for compressor stalls

Transworld

Really lousy pilots – you throttle back and stop it, you don’t just go banging along.

It should be shut down in 20 seconds if you can’t resolve it (or run at part throttle for some thrust)

Ray

I can’t believe they did not call an emergency and shut down immediately.
But looking at the state of the flaps on this aircraft I would say Philippines maintenance is not too hot either!
Personally I would never fly them anyway, as being former aircrew I never thought they had a good reputation.

Tom

Professional and Amazing job for the crew that manages to divert the plane back before it’s too late. Good Job 😀

Mike

Compressor stalls, if that is what it was, should be easily managed. But they should not happen. I would think the engine management software should not allow the stall. It may be this engine was dirty or sustained FOD. Turning around early seem like a wise decision. Perhaps fuel should have been dumped rather than risking an over loaded landing?

Tom

AVOID FOREIGN CARRIERS FROM SOUTHEAST ASIA

John

Like Singapore Airlines? The world’s best airline? You’re a damn fool is what you are.