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Laughter as plane engine burns in astounding video

August 27, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Passengers chat good-naturedly and laugh occasionally as they watch one of their plane’s two engines spark wildly, catch fire and burn during an emergency landing, as captured in a remarkable video.

The incident happened last Wednesday in Russia and the airline involved was Red Wings, based at Vnukovo Airport, Moscow. The airline operates scheduled passenger and cargo charter services and the flight, on a Russian-made Tupolev TU-204 aircraft, was headed to the subtropical Black Sea resort city of Sochi from the city of Ufa, capital of the autonomous Russian republic of Bashkortostan.

The flight was carrying 215 passengers and seven crew.

According to the Aviation Herald, the left engine surged just before takeoff but the crew pressed on. They stopped the climb at about 1500 feet (500 metres) as a fire “became visible through gaps in the engine cowl emitting smoke, fire and sparks”.

It looks like sparklers in a firework display.

The plane turned back and landed safely five minutes later, with passengers evacuated on slides while emergency services foamed the aircraft and engine.

One of the most striking things about the 47-second video clip is the soundtrack. The passengers take the situation pretty calmly. There’s no sound of any panic, just chat and a bit of laugher.

It probably helps if you understand Russian but it’s evident the passengers handled it coolly.

An alarming aspect is that the flight crew learned of the fire only when the control tower spotted it from the ground and let them know.  For some reason the fire indication alert in the cockpit didn’t work. On learning of the fire, crew switched on the emergency fire suppression system – but that didn’t work either.

The crew then shut the engine down manually. Emergency services put out the fire after the plane landed.

There were no injuries and passengers were provided with medical and psychological assistance.

A replacement aircraft of the same type arrived six hours later to take everyone on to Sochi – though for some reason 58 passengers reportedly refused to board it, choosing to stay behind.

Perhaps they were thinking of travelling the 1700km between Ufa and Sochi some other way – by bus, for instance. Or perhaps they’d had enough and cancelled their travel plans entirely.

Written by Peter Needham

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