Plane's engine catches fire, passenger films it (naturally)

The engine of a BAe-146 jet flying in Australia starts spouting flames soon after takeoff. Who wouldn't want to get some footage of that?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Off to a flaming start. The West Australian screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

In today's role-playing exercise, you're sitting on a plane. Let's say it's a BAe-146.

You're sitting by the window. Perhaps you're reading a newspaper, playing Words With The Only Friends I've Got or wondering whether that peculiar smell is the person next to you.

The plane takes off. So, because you're in a window seat, you stare out of the window, marveling at the world God did or didn't create and perhaps wondering who the next human being you'll kiss will be.

Suddenly, flames shoot by your window. You're sure you're not under the influence of anything. Just as you're sure these were real flames.

"Oh, goodness," you muse. "The plane's engine is on fire."

Now what do you do next? Well, you might inform the cabin crew, as these fine people will surely be interested. On the other hand, perhaps they already know.

So, if you're that one fine passenger on the Cobham Aviation flight from Perth to Barrow Island in Australia, you whip out your cell phone and you start filming, right?

I confess that mightn't have been my first instinct. Instead, I may have been tempted to tense various parts of my anatomy in anticipation of an unanticipated doom.

But, as the West Australian reports, I am not Brad McCoy. Though I wonder how my life would have been different if I was.

McCoy must be made of sterner moving parts for it was he who seems to have calmly taken out his cell phone and filmed the fun, as other passengers reportedly screamed. It was subsequently posted to Facebook and many media in Australia.

This flight was mainly populated by mine workers on their way to the office. As Perth Now reports, the plane returned safely to Perth airport.

The airline said that no one among the 92 passengers was injured (physically) and that the No. 2 engine had been extinguished successfully. No cause of the fire is currently known.

One passenger told Perth Now that the flames were like Halley's Comet. So I suppose the natural reaction on seeing a comet is to film it.

However, some passengers might have replied "not flaming likely," if someone had asked them to film an event that would scare several people out of their trousers.