A United Airlines plane returned to Honolulu after passengers say one of its engines caught fire. There were 142 passengers on board. The early morning flight was heading to Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The flight is about five hours over open water.
One passenger sent us video and you could see the flames flaring up from the left wing. It’s a sight you never want to see while flying.
“Had fire and smoke coming out the back for like a few seconds, like two spurs of fire,” said passenger Josh Ley.
Ley says he was sitting in a window seat behind the left wing when he took the video.
“Then next thing you know we were staying at the same elevation, circling around for almost an hour before we landed again. It was about an hour of just trying to figure out what’s going on,” he said.
Ley says an announcement was made saying that one of the compressors of the engine failed.
United Airlines tells us flight 132 returned to Honolulu shortly after take-off following a mechanical issue with one of the engines.
The plane landed safely and the 142 passengers on board were met by emergency crews.
“They checked out the plane to make sure that we were safe to arrive at the gate. They had to cool down the brakes,” said Ley. “They gave us the go-ahead to come back to the gate. We waited at the gate for a little while. Finally, we got the notice that our flight was canceled.”
Some of the passengers were re-booked on other flights. Others tell us they may need to wait until the end of the week to get to Majuro.
“They set me up at a hotel with taxi and food vouchers. They rescheduled me for Friday,” Ley said.
Passengers tell us there are not a lot of flights to Majuro and that’s probably why the wait to get rebooked takes a while. United Airlines tell us the plane with the engine problem is now out of service.