American Airlines Plane Catches Fire Due to Bird Strike: 'The Engine Started Making Real Loud Noises' Video of the engine fire was captured on a passenger's cellphone.
The incident took place on April 23 around 8 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration told ABC News, less than 20 minutes after the plane departed from Ohio's John Glenn Columbus International Airport, according to Flight Aware.
Shortly after the fire, which was captured on video by passengers onboard, the plane returned back to the airport safely and was taken out of service. The FAA is investigating the incident, per ABC News.
Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Columbus, OH to PHX had a scary experience this morning. The plane rerouted back to Columbus Int'l Airport. There are no injuries.— Elenee Dao (@Elenee_Dao) April 23, 2023
Airport & FAA officials say a bird strike caused an engine fire.
Videos: Matt Danek & Stephen Dial pic.twitter.com/J8YkuHMmTv
According to NBC News, the Boeing 737-800 had 173 passengers and crew on board and was carrying 30,000 pounds of fuel. No injuries were reported.
The bird strike could be heard from inside the cabin, passenger John Fisher told NBC affiliate WCMH of Columbus.
"Apparently we struck a flock of geese and the engine started making real loud 'clonk, clonk, clonk' noises," he told the outlet. "They eventually turned the engine off and turned around and went back to the airport."
Pilots of an American Airlines flight turned the plane around shortly after it took off from the airport in Columbus, Ohio, after an apparent bird strike caused the engine to catch fire pic.twitter.com/ih45zfGFq1— Reuters (@Reuters) April 24, 2023
According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, bird strikes are a "real and not uncommon danger" with 112,815 reported bird and wildlife strikes in the last 20 years, and 350 fatalities of U.S. passengers in the history of aviation.
Additionally, bird strikes cost the aviation industry $330 million and 500,000 hours of downtime per year.