Boeing 747 Catches Fire After Leaving Miami Airport – Makes Emergency Landing

Source: Instagram/Malableh

Boeing avoided yet another potential tragedy last week when one of their planes experienced an engine failure mere minutes after takeoff. The Boeing 747 was seen flying with a trail of sparks coming from one of the engines, but the pilot managed to make an emergency landing – luckily, no one was injured.

Here’s What We Know About The Boeing 747

The aircraft was a Boeing 747-8 cargo plane – it was operated by Atlas Air (Flight 5Y095), powered by four General Electric GEnx engines, and was eight years old at the time of the incident. According to its official website, Atlas Air is home to the ‘world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 freighter aircraft.’

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The Boeing 747-8 left its gate at 10:11 p.m., but was only in the air for approximately eight minutes – traveling roughly 60 miles during that time. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and Atlas Air are continuing their investigation into this matter.

5 Crew Members On Board, But No Injuries Reported

The plane departed the Miami International Airport at 10:22 p.m. on January 18, and was initially headed for the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico – which is normally a three-hour flight. There were only five crew members on board.

Source: Shutterstock

The engine failure was reported a few minutes after takeoff. After communicating with air traffic control, the pilots turned the plane around and headed back to Miami for an emergency landing. The plane was on the ground by 10:30 p.m. local time – and all the crew members were safe.

Pilot: “Mayday, Mayday. We Have An Engine Fire

The audio of the incident shows the exchange between the pilot and air traffic control. “Mayday, mayday. Giant 095 Heavy, engine fire, request vectors back to the airport,” the pilot said to ATC. The pilot later confirmed that there were ‘five souls on board’ and ‘five hours of fuel on board.’

Source: Shutterstock

As the exchange continued, ATC asked if the pilot had a ‘hazmat’ on board, and asked which engine was failing and what was wrong with it. “It’s engine No. 2, and we’re still trying to work it out,” the pilot said – adding that they lost the engine ‘on the climb out.’

Social Media Video Shows Plane With Trail Of Sparks

Several witnesses managed to capture video of the Boeing 747 on its way back to the Miami airport – at this point, the engine had already failed, and there was a trail of sparks coming from the back of the plane – it appeared as if the engine was engulfed in flames.

Source: AdobeStock

A second video shows the plane arriving back at the Miami airport, but the fire had subsided by then. The local fire department also confirmed there was no fire when they arrived at the scene. Unfortunately, problems like these are far too common these days.

Witness: “It Was Shooting Sparks, It Was Very Surreal

Melanie Adaros – a witness who lives near the Miami Executive Airport – was enjoying her evening walk when she saw the fire-lit plane flying across the night sky. She immediately took her phone out and recorded it – the video went viral shortly after.

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“There’s always planes flying overhead, but they’re little planes. But this didn’t sound like a little plane. It sounded very low, so I turned,” Melanie said in an interview with The Associated Press. “You always see a plane going up or going down. This one was just at a steady level, and it was shooting sparks. It was very surreal.”

FAA and NTSB Are Investigating The Incident

The FAA and NTSB are continuing their investigation into the incident, but preliminary records indicate that a ‘softball-size hole’ was found above one of the engines – engine No. 2, to be exact. Luckily, planes are designed to be able to fly with just one engine (in most cases).

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Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Boeing has been investigated this year. In fact, they’ve already had a string of incidents happen across the world – from doors falling out while in mid-air to cockpit windows cracking and now engines failing.

Air Safety Expert Explains How This Could’ve Happened

While a failing engine isn’t usually a significant event, U.S. air safety expert John Cox said it’s possible if the engine failure is uncontained – which is what he thinks happened with Atlas Air Flight 5Y095 on January 18.

Source: Shutterstock

“On the interior of that engine there are a lot of rotating parts including blades,” Cox said, according to Reuters. “An engine is designed to try and contain a blade separation and they do testing and certification for it. But it does happen that you get an uncontained failure. When you do, it does elevate the investigative significance of it.”

Atlas Air and Boeing Release First Comments On Incident

Both Atlas Air and Boeing have kept their comments short and sweet in the week since the incident happened. Boeing is deferring all questions to Atlas Air, but did say they were ‘supporting our customer and will support the NTSB investigation into this incident,’ according to NBC News.

Source: K. Bell

As for Atlas Air, they praised the crew members for their swift action and promised to launch an immediate investigation. “The crew followed all standard procedures and safely returned to MIA. At Atlas, safety is always our top priority, and we will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine the cause,” Atlas Air said in a statement.

Boeing Door Plug Falls Off Shortly After Takeoff On January 5

The incident comes nearly three weeks after a Boeing 737 passenger plane suffered a major mishap just minutes after takeoff. Already several thousand feet in the air, passengers were suddenly exposed to open air when the door plug for the fuselage fell off – leaving a door-sized hole in the side of the plane.

Source: Denys Kolomiiets from Getty Images via Canva

Not only is Boeing under investigation for the mishap, but they’re facing a flurry of criticism and lawsuits from passengers – including one lawsuit filed by two Californians and two Washington residents who were on the plane. Some passengers were so frightened that they sent out a ‘final text’ to those they loved.

Secretary Of State Experiences Mishap On Boeing Flight On January 17

Not even two weeks later, Boeing suffered another mishap when a Boeing 737 jet – which was transporting Secretary of State Antony Blinken from Davos, Switzerland, back to the States – was forced to make an emergency landing on January 17 (the day before the Atlas Air incident).

Source: US Embassy Seoul

A spokesperson for the State Department said the plane suffered a mechanical issue related to an oxygen leak. Boeing also had a cockpit window crack on January 13, and a plane in Atlanta lost a wheel on January 20. Now, the company is pausing production on Boeing 737s for one day on January 25 – what they’re calling a ‘quality stand down.’

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Richard Brennhan

Written by Richard Brennhan

Richard Brennhan is a dynamic writer whose life journey has been marked by an unwavering dedication to crafting viral and impactful content. Born with an innate passion for storytelling and an insatiable curiosity, Richard has consistently pushed the boundaries of creativity and successfully harnessed the power of the written word to captivate global audiences.

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