Photo Credit: Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines Flight Returns To Minneapolis For Emergency Landing After Fear Of Fire
It was a scary moment for people on a Spirit Airlines flight after the pilot returned to Minneapolis for an emergency landing after fearing fire.
According to local news outlet KSTP, the Spirit aircraft took off at 7:29 p.m. on Nov. 14 from Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport and was scheduled to land in Orlando around 10:32 p.m. Shortly after takeoff, the plan quickly returned to the Twin Cities because the pilot believed there was a fire. The pilot began to return at 7:37 p.m., tracking logs show.
A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration reads:
“Spirit Airlines Flight 135 returned to Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport and landed safely around 7:50 p.m. local time Sunday after the crew reported a possible engine fire shortly after takeoff.
“The Airbus A320, which had been en route to Orlando, taxied to the terminal. No injuries were reported. The FAA will investigate.”
A preliminary investigation revealed that the pilot’s concerns were caused by a detection light, which typically indicates an engine fire.
A video posted to social media purportedly shows the aircraft landing on the runway.
Spirit flt 135 MSP-MCO making an emergency landing today due to a right engine fire after takeoff. pic.twitter.com/TbIInebpzQ— Levi Johnson (@levikj) November 15, 2021
The flight eventually departed with no issues at 10.55 p.m. local time and arrived in Orlando at 2.35 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware.
Engine failure is not an especially common occurrence, but it does happen.
“Because airplane engines are so rigorously tested, engine fires are very rare,” says Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told Telegraph.
But when it does happen, pilots are extensively trained on what to do.
“Many pilots go through their entire career without a single-engine failure, even though we train for it,” Bob Meder, chairman of the National Association of Flight Instructors, explained to Wired. “In general, you do your memory items first for the airplane you’re flying. You’ve got an engine fire, you secure the engine and stop the flow fuel to the engine.”
The most recent incident of an engine fire was February 2021 when a United Airlines flight en route to Hawaii was forced to return to Denver International Airport after it suffered an engine failure shortly after takeoff.