Sort Of Terrifying: Video Of A330 Engine Fire During Takeoff

Yesterday was a rough day for airports acr0ss the Northeast due to bad weather, though it looks like some passengers had an even rougher night at JFK. Aerolineas Argentinas 1301 (operated by an A330) was scheduled to fly from New York to Buenos Aires, and was already delayed by about eight hours due to the blizzard.

Then it tried to take off, when this happened:

Man, I’d be scared like hell if my plane were rolling down the runway and I heard that noise. Here’s what this incident looked like from outside the plane, per Twitter user @alicexz, who was on a nearby plane at the time of the incident:

Aerolineas-Engine-Fire

I can’t decide whether the incident seems more horrifying from the outside or inside — it’s a close call!

You can listen to the ATC audio of the incident here (thanks to @AirlineFlyer for finding the audio), though you’ll want to fast forward to just over 21 minutes in to get to the part where the incident occurs:

  • The Aerolineas Argentinas plane is cleared for takeoff
  • Moments later the pilot tells ATC that they’re rejecting the takeoff
  • A pilot of another plane chimes in and says that he sees that the plane has a fire by the right engine
  • The Aerolineas Argentinas pilot indicates that he has no indication in the cockpit of an engine fire
  • The plane sat on the runway for a bit, though after shutting down the right engine it was determined that no further services were needed

Is the sound in that video terrifying, or what?

Comments

  1. As a pilot, Id say this probably is what we call ‘engine severe damage’. Maybe caused by a fan blade or other object sucked further into the engine when setting take off thrust. Momentarely it may look like a fire.
    The pilots train for this in the sim a couple times a year. Even in flight its not dangerous, but dramatic for the passengers.
    I may be wrong on the cause of the problem, but thats what it looks like to me. And remember, a jet engine is supposed to be on fire, if not its not working 😉

  2. I believe this was simply a compressor stall. Happens if the airflow into the turbine is disrupted for any reason (strong crosswind, bird ingestion, etc.). It usually results in a ton of awful banging sounds and flames being shot out of the exhaust, as there will be a ton of fuel that will build up and not ignite when the air flow stalls, but will then ignite in large quantity when it is restored. It sounds awful and can be a huge hazard in certain circumstances, but generally doesn’t cause damage or an actual fire, hence no cockpit indication.

  3. That is terrifying, luckily it sounds like everyone was safe! It’s an (maybe THE) only unfortunate part of travel, yet it carries so much weight as to scare some off. They’re big, big birds and mother nature can be nasty to them!

  4. Seriously can we please reserve the use of terms like “terrifying” for events that actually merit it? Your supposed to be an experienced traveler so you of all people should now that an event like this is in reality not a big deal.

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