United Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Its Engine Reportedly Caught Fire
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
A United Airlines flight heading to Sydney, Australia (SYD) from San Francisco (SFO) made an emergency landing when one of its engines caught fire shortly after takeoff.
Passengers on board UA Flight 863 reported hearing two loud noises and seeing two large sparks about 30 minutes after the Boeing 787-9 took off from SFO. The flight returned to SFO, where the pilots executed a safe emergency landing. There were no injuries reported.
One passenger on board, Aman Hauja, told ABC 7 News that the cabin crew told passengers that there had been a fire in one of the aircraft engines.
“The engines were working reasonably well after that announcement, but to be safe and such a long journey, they decided it’s better, safer to return back,” Hauja said. “The pilot and the staff were very reassuring that things are in control and in no danger, working fine.”
Although the exact cause of the engine issue isn’t clear, we’re guessing it was a compressor stall in the engine. This occurs when there’s an airflow disruption into the engine compressor. Air flow can be interrupted by a foreign object, like a bird, broken compressor or turbine blades, engine deterioration, extreme pitch or yaw movements or throttle movements, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
TPG‘s Emily McNutt experienced a compressor stall on a Japan Airlines flight last year. From her window seat, she said “flames were streaming in front of my face,” when the surge occurred. “Every two to three seconds, the engine on my side would spew out flames, accompanied by a sound that echoed like a loud blast and a jolting motion,” she wrote.
In the image below from Japanese television, you can see the engine catching fire:
United said it was working to re-accommodate its customers. “The flight landed safely and we will work to get our customers to Sydney as soon as possible,” United told ABC 7 News. “Our maintenance team is inspecting the aircraft.”
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.