There was a silver lining to this scary incident as Swoop passengers saw flames shooting from the plane engine shortly after takeoff. Assuming it to be the worst, the terrified passengers started writing ‘goodbye messages’ to their loved ones at the sight of fire in full view of their windows. In a video taken by one of the passengers from inside the cabin, the engine on the right side of the plane can be seen spitting flames.
Wild Geese sucked into Swoop engine
Swoop flight W0312 bound for Edmonton was just taking off from Abbotsford in Canada when it encountered trouble after a bird strike. The plane was hit by a flock of wild geese and the right-side engine caught fire. Perhaps, the birds were sucked into the plane’s engine causing multiple bursts of flames. The powerful explosion shook the plane’s cabin as flames spewed from the engine and the stench of burning geese filled the cabin. While the fire was quite visible from the windows, the scared passengers yelled ‘fire’. The pilot urgently announced that the plane was running on two engines and had to make an emergency landing back at Abbotsford Airport. The Boeing 737 had 176 passengers on board and as the plane made an emergency landing, travelers wrote ‘goodbye’ messages to their loved ones. A few took to social media to recount their experience.
Emergency landing at Abbotsford Airport
The pilots safely executed the emergency landing and no injuries have been reported. All of the 176 impacted travellers were re-accommodated or provided a full refund for the unused portion of their flight. The aircraft has subsequently been removed from service for further inspection.
Bird strike during a flight, can be terrifying for both the pilot and the passengers onboard. And hitting a whole flock of birds particularly large birds like geese, can be dangerous. The FAA estimates around 13,000 bird strikes occur to aircrafts in the US each year. Though, it seems less in number as there are around 87,000 flights in the US every day, the probability of being in an aircraft that is hit by a bird still lies. However, the probability of the aircraft crashing as a result is even lower. Since 1990, there has been only 25 human fatalities and 279 injuries caused as a result of bird strikes.