In a rare and concerning incident, a Boeing 747 cargo flight operated by Atlas Air made an emergency landing in Miami after experiencing engine failure, according to The Washington Post.
The plane, en route to Puerto Rico, had a hole found above one of its engines. This event raises further scrutiny for Boeing, already under investigation for a January 5 Alaska Airlines flight where a plane part blew out, causing damage to the aircraft.
Key Details of the Incident:
- Cargo Flight and Emergency Landing: The Boeing 747, departing from Miami International Airport on Thursday night, faced engine failure shortly after takeoff. The crew, following standard procedures, made the decision to turn around and landed the aircraft less than an hour after departure. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported among the small crew.
- Uncommon Occurrence: The discovery of a hole described as the size of a “softball” above the engine is an uncommon and alarming incident. The visual evidence, captured in witness videos from Miami, showed the plane flying with apparent flames. However, the aircraft landed without any fire, as confirmed by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.
- Ongoing Investigations: Both the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will conduct investigations into the incident. The FAA has already reported the presence of the hole above the second engine in its incident notice. The focus will be on determining the cause of the engine malfunction.
- Boeing’s Continued Scrutiny: Boeing, already facing scrutiny after the January 5 incident, remains in the spotlight. The earlier Alaska Airlines flight involved a blown-out plane part, prompting ongoing investigations by the NTSB and FAA. Some 737-9 Max planes remain grounded pending inspections.
- FAA Audit and Industry Response: The FAA has planned an audit of Boeing’s 737-9 Max jet production line and its suppliers. Boeing has pledged its own inspections, and airlines are expressing intentions to scrutinize safety protocols. Recent incidents, including a crack in the windshield on an All Nippon Airways Boeing 737-800 and a “critical failure” on a Boeing carrying Secretary of State Antony Blinken, add to industry concerns.
- GE Aerospace Involvement: Boeing’s 747-8, operated by Atlas Air in this incident, utilizes engines manufactured by GE Aerospace. Boeing has committed to supporting the NTSB’s investigation, directing inquiries to GE Aerospace. The latter stated it is “providing technical assistance” to federal agencies investigating the incident.
The discovery of a hole above the engine of the Boeing 747 adds complexity to Boeing’s current challenges. As investigations progress, the aviation industry and regulators will closely examine the circumstances surrounding the engine failure and the broader safety implications for Boeing aircraft.
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