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”.
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.
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.
A Philippine Airlines flight made an emergency landing at LAX shortly after takeoff when reported engine failure and flames were visible.
— ABC News (@ABC) November 21, 2019
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.