An Air China 777-300 was forced to return to Washington Dulles after a flames erupted from the left engine after takeoff. An eyewitness captured the entire scene on video using a mobile phone.
Air China Flight 818, bound from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Beijing (PEK), took off on Tuesday at 4:39 p.m. EDT. During takeoff, the left engine caught fire, sending torrents of flames from the rear of the engine. Pilots remained in touch with the tower throughout the ordeal and after dumping fuel, returned to the airport at 5:54 p.m.
The fire department met the aircraft, but that turned our to be unnecessary. No injuries were reported and the fire had subsided. Passengers were offered hotel and meal accommodations and the aircraft is currently being serviced. No word yet on the extent of the damages, the timeframe for repair, or the precise cause of damage.
But the interesting twist to this story is that someone on the ground captured the post-takeoff incident from a clear and unobstructed view.
The incident may have been triggered by a bird strike, though I cannot make out any birds in the video above.
Thus far, Air China has not released a statement on this incident and Washington Dulles authorities have only confirmed that CA818 was involved.
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