Light Aircraft On Fire

So here’s what happened.

My friend Chris Selcer and I were hanging out on my porch, smoking and chatting, when we heard a noise like the world’s biggest car backfire: BAP-BA-BA-BA-BA-BA-BAP! Chris immediately said “That’s a plane engine going out.”

We looked up…and there, between us and the Strip, was a Southwest Airlines plane…and the right (starboard, yeah?) engine was on FIRE. A tight, long (maybe 30-40 foot) stream of pure yellow flame ripping out the back. No smoke.

I think we both said “Holy fuck!” at the precise same moment. We jogged down to the end of the block to follow it. It was headed east-northeast, and it wasn’t gaining altitude — it was only 1000-2000 feet up at that point — and we thought it was about to drop out of the sky. We thought the pilot might try to make it to Nellis Air Force Base, north…but we didn’t think he was gonna make it that far. But we didn’t hear a boom and we didn’t see smoke.

Other neighbors and passers-by came over. One of my neighbors had a police scanner and he heard it was a Southwest flight and that the pilot was gonna try to circle around the city counterclockwise and come back to McCarran Airport. But we couldn’t see the plane.

And that was all, really, until I saw on Twitter — via local newsman Dave Courvoisier — that the plane landed safely.

But I have never in my life seen anything like that. I mean, I know that a plane can fly with one operational engine, but it was so loud and so…well, so totally on fire…that I thought it was gonna come down in suburban Vegas.

I’m glad all the passengers on Flight 273 got out safely, if Twitter is telling me correctly.

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  1. i saw that too. when i was going into the Boulevard Mall. I heard a loud noise and i looked up and i saw an airplane with fire coming out of its engine. i have been thinking about it all day and im glad to hear everyone is fine.

  2. Compressor stall? They’re loud and make fire come out the back of the engine, but not hugely serious 🙂

  3. By the way, there was a murder over a shopping cart at your friendly, neighborhood Walmart on Boulder Hwy & Nellis! Apparently an old Mexican man with white hair stabbed a young 24 year-old to death for hitting his car with a shopping cart! Remember when you did a small video segment on this lovely neighborhood a short time ago? “Pepe, no! No, Pepe!”

  4. not something you see everyday – glad to hear they are all safe.

    as for the mexican who murdered a walmart shopper… i wonder if he was here illegally.

    do you know that since 2003, more Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens than u.s. soldiers being killed in the wars in both afghanistan and iraq combined?

    these Americans who would still be alive if we would enforce our laws and secure our borders.

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