It’s been a heck of a week for emergency airline landings (with Sunday being especially busy) but most of the time, passengers don’t have to worry about these situations – and the four most recent incidents are Exhibit A.
On the other hand, passengers can and do get upset since emergency landings can be scary and almost always mean delays.
Korean Air Engine Problem
Shortly after take-off Sunday, Oct. 6, a Korean Air flight took off from Dallas-Ft. Worth and almost immediately ran into problems with the left engine. Some passengers saw a flash and one screamed, “fire!” but the plane landed safely and there were no injuries. There may have been some angry passengers though once they learned the flight could not be rescheduled until the next day.
American Bird Strike
Also on Sunday, an American Airlines plane taking off from Chicago for Shanghai had to return to O’Hare after getting hit by some birds (at least they’re assuming birds were to blame but there’s not a lot of evidence left after they’ve been sucked into engines). Bird strikes are not uncommon, though – remember the Miracle on the Hudson landing? That extremely difficult landing was forced on the pilot by multiple bird strikes but luckily no one was injured. The same was true for this latest incident.
Pakistan Plane’s Engine Fire
It could have been a lot more serious when an engine on a Pakistan International Airlines jet caught fire on Sunday. Media reports referred to it as a close call but fortunately no one was injured and the emergency landing in Karachi went off without a hitch. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
LOT’s 787 Problems – Again
Poland’s Lot Airlines has had a lot of problems with its Dreamliners (and goodness knows they’re not alone – the plane was grounded for months earlier this year) and it seems it’s not over yet. On Sept. 30, a LOT 787 flying from Toronto to Warsaw made an emergency landing in Iceland due to an “inoperative antenna.” According to news reports, that meant the plane’s “air identification system” was faulty and while a plane can fly that way, air authorities may not allow such planes in their air space which was the response from the Norwegians. No one was injured and hopefully all enjoyed a lovely time in Reykjavik.