American Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Ohio after plane engine catches fire

Author: CBS NEWS
Published: Updated:
FILE – In this April 24, 2019, photo, American Airlines aircraft are shown parked at their gates at Miami International Airport in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

An American Airlines flight headed to Phoenix on Sunday morning was rerouted back to its departure airport in Columbus, Ohio, after the plane engine reportedly caught fire, officials said. 

The incident happened because a bird struck the engine, officials said. 

No one was injured, and the plane landed safely at John Glenn Columbus International Airport after 8 a.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to CBS News. The agency is investigating the incident.

The plane, a Boeing 737 commercial jet, returned to the airport on Sunday about 30 minutes after its initial takeoff at around 7:45 a.m., according to the tracking site FlightAware. It was traveling to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and flying over Upper Arlington, another Ohio city roughly five miles outside of Columbus, when it started to turn back, CBS affiliate WBNS reported.

John Glenn International Airport acknowledged the incident on Twitter.


“Emergency crews responded to an aircraft incident at CMH this morning involving a reported engine fire,” the airport wrote in a tweet. “The aircraft landed safely and the airport is open and operational.”

Ryan Brink, who was on the flight, recorded a video through one of the plane windows that seemed to show sparks coming from the right engine. He posted the video to Facebook along with several photos of the plane, which appeared to have blood spattered across one side.

“Damn geese!” Brink captioned the post on Facebook. “First time seeing a fire and being involved in an emergency landing!”

American Airlines did not provide details about what caused the emergency landing but attributed the incident to “a mechanical issue” in a statement to CBS News.

“The flight landed normally and taxied safely to the gate under its own power,” the airline said. “The aircraft was taken out of service for maintenance and our team is working to get customers back on their way to PHX. Safety is our top priority and we thank our customers for their understanding.”

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