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Watch plane's emergency landing -- is an engine spitting flames?

Technically Incorrect: An onlooker grabs smartphone video of a Qatar Airways passenger jet heading toward an Istanbul airport after the plane was hit by a bird.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


View of clouds through the window of a passenger jet.

May your view always be a pleasant one.

Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

Every time one of these videos emerges, it's hard not to think of the passengers.

They're not experts.

Pilots might see, for example, that an engine is on fire. They're trained to deal with that scenario.

Passengers see the same thing and at least some must believe their lives are very much in danger.

On Thursday, a Qatar Airways passenger jet took off from Istanbul. But it quickly returned for an emergency landing, after being hit by a bird.

"Qatar Airways can now confirm that QR240 from Istanbul to Doha experienced a bird strike, which resulted in its safe return to Istanbul," an airline spokesman told me. "All 298 passengers and 14 crew disembarked normally."

The Qatar spokesman didn't say if there had been any flames. But unidentified aviation officials told Agence France-Press that the bird strike caused one of the plane's engines to catch fire. And a witness told the Independent he saw flames.

Mehmet Kirazoglu told the paper he heard a "strange plane engine sound" while he was at a building near the airport.

"When we looked up we saw that a Qatar plane's left engine was flaming out," he said, in remarks that he apparently echoed on Twitter. (His Twitter account is unverified.)

Video posted to YouTube shows what could indeed be flames emerging from an engine.

The Independent, relying on reports from Turkey, said one passenger was taken to hospital after feeling faint.

Bird strikes aren't unusual occurrences for pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration says that in the US, civil aircraft experienced 142,000 bird strikes between 1990 and 2013.

More than half occurred between July and October. As a result of these 142,000 bird strikes, 25 deaths and 279 injuries were recorded.

The most common birds to be involved in US strikes are gulls.

Perhaps the most famous bird strike in recent times was one involving US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320, which collided with a flock of geese and landed safely -- somehow -- in the Hudson River.

After that incident, Captain Chesley Sullenberger became something of a folk hero. Indeed, the untold story of the whole affair has now been turned into a movie called "Sully," which is due to be released September 9 and stars Tom Hanks as the man himself.

Still, from the passengers' point of view all that can be seen in the Qatar case are apparent flames, and all that can be felt is at least a little trepidation.