Video: Flames Shoot Out Of Plane's Engine In Bursts Just After Take-Off

The Air Canada plane returned to Toronto airport after its engine caught fire.

New Delhi:

An Air Canada plane, headed for Paris with 389 passengers and 13 crew, caught fire within minutes of taking off from the Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday.

The plane crew immediately declared “PAN-PAN”, or ‘Possible Assistance Needed’ – the standard distress signal internationally, and averted a possible catastrophe as the aircraft returned to the airport without any injuries or casualties.

On Friday, the Boeing 777 wide-body aircraft began departure at 12:17 am (Toronto time). Shortly after take-off, at 12:39 am (Toronto time), as the plane was still ascending over the runway, the air traffic controller (ATC) spotted the first blast of sparks from the plane’s right engine and promptly alerted the crew. The backfiring engine was caught on camera by people on the ground.

The incident adds to the long list of mishaps that have been reported on Boeing’s aircraft over the past several months.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield shared a video of the aircraft flying with an engine on fire and wrote: “Superb work by the pilots and their air traffic controllers, dealing with a backfiring engine on takeoff. Heavy plane full of fuel, low cloud thunderstorms, repeated compressor stalls. Calm, competent, professional – well done!”

He also shared a reconstruction video, posted on YouTube by ‘You can see ATC‘, of what followed along with a recording of the pilot’s communication with ATC. According to the video, the plane was 1,000 feet over the ground when Air Canada pilots were alerted about smoke and fire. The flight path in the video showed the aircraft continuing its ascent before cruising steady at 3,000 feet. The pilots then deftly turned the craft around and returned to Toronto in lightning and showers scattered at 2,800 feet.

The ATC cleared Runway 23 for the distressed aircraft to land with fire vehicles standing by for assistance.

Within four minutes of landing, the plane continued taxiing, according to the video.

Air Canada put out a statement on X and said that a stalled compressor caused the fire. “The aircraft landed normally, and it was met by first responder vehicles as a precaution before it taxied to the gate on its own.”

“Passengers were accommodated on another aircraft later that same evening,” the airline noted.