On June 19, a Delhi-Patna SpiceJet flight took off from the Patna airport for Delhi and shortly after the take off, it suffered a mid-air engine fire. As seen in the videos shot by some passengers, the left engine of the Boeing 737 aircraft caught fire shortly after the takeoff and later made an emergency landing at the Patna airport with just one of its engines being operational. Gurcharan Arora, SpiceJet’s chief of flight operations, conveyed that the pilots handled the situation really well. “Pilots handled the situation well. Only a single engine was functioning when the plane landed back. Engineers inspected the aircraft. It was confirmed that the fan blade and engine were damaged as a bird hit it. DGCA will probe further,” Arora said.
The said flight was piloted by Captain Monica Khanna, who was the pilot-in-command of the SpiceJet Limited flight SG723. As per reports, since the flight suffered engine failure during the takeoff, it was loaded with fuel and landing a fully fuelled aircraft safely is challenging for any pilot.
As per Spicejet, as a precautionary measure and as per SOP, the Captain decided to shutdown the affected engine and decided to return to Patna. Post flight inspection showed bird hit with 3 fan blades damaged.
— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2022
Not only there’s a risk of fire during landing due to amount of fuel, the plane itself is very heavy with passengers and fuel. The Boeing 737 aircraft had 185 people on board passengers, and all of them walked out of the flight safely, soon after the plane made the emergency landing.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated a probe into the matter and the officials said that the plane (VT-SYZ), prima facie, was involved in air turnback as the cabin crew informed PIC about sparks coming out of the engine.
During the rotation, the cockpit crew suspected a bird hit on the engine. Later, the crew did not observe any abnormality and the flight resumed further climb.” The flight returned back after a bird hit and due to one engine shut in the air, all on-board passengers safe,” the officials added.
“The Delhi-bound flight had returned to Patna airport after locals noticed a fire in the aircraft and informed district and airport officials. All 185 passengers were safely deboarded. The reason is a technical glitch, engineering team analysing further,” said Chandrashekhar Singh, Patna District Magistrate told media persons.
(With inputs from ANI)