Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published October 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM | Page modified October 17, 2013 at 6:31 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (4)
  • Print

Spirit Airlines’ jet-engine failure serious, NTSB says

An engine on a Spirit Airlines Airbus A319, where passengers said they heard an explosion and saw flames, sustained an “uncontained” engine failure, an especially serious type of failure, a National Transportation Safety Board official said.


The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
The plane caught fire shortly after takeoff today. Passengers were quickly assessed a... MORE
Never heard of an A360. Sounds like clutching for straws when facts will not suffice. MORE
Re: Larry Yeast Your mind seems to be solely driven by patriotism? The first... MORE

advertising

An engine on an Atlanta-bound Spirit Airlines jet, where passengers said they heard an explosion and saw flames, sustained an especially serious type of failure, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official said Wednesday.

The official said it was an “uncontained” engine failure, meaning broken pieces and parts of the engine escaped the outer engine housing. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also investigating, said Laura Brown, an agency spokeswoman.

Spirit Flight 165, an Airbus A319 carrying 150 people, had mechanical difficulties and smoke filled the cabin shortly after takeoff Tuesday from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Misty Pinson, a spokeswoman for the Miramar, Fla.-based airline, confirmed by email. The jet returned and landed safely at the Dallas airport.

The V2500 engines on Spirit’s fleet are supplied by International Aero Engines, a consortium led by Pratt & Whitney.

Boeing doesn’t use that engine-maker. Its 737s are powered exclusively by CFM engines.

Passenger Fred Edwards told WGCL-TV in Atlanta that he heard an explosion before flames came up the side of the plane, lighting up the interior of the Airbus A319. He and other passengers reported that smoke then filled the cabin.

Pinson, the Spirit spokeswoman, said no injuries were reported. She said the captain received an indication of a “possible mechanical issue” shortly after takeoff but she added that there was no fire. She later said that Spirit is “actively investigating to confirm the specifics of what happened and the cause.”

The passengers were placed on another Spirit jet for Atlanta later Tuesday.

Aircraft engines are designed to contain any broken pieces within the engine during a failure. That’s because when parts are released, they often spray like shrapnel and cause severe damage to fuel lines, electrical cables, hydraulic lines and other critical aircraft systems. Airliners are capable of safely flying with only one engine if the other engine breaks down or has to be shut off, but damage from an uncontained engine failure can jeopardize the plane.

Despite the government shutdown, NTSB is recalling furloughed investigators to open an investigation of the incident, the agency official said.

Mary Anne Greczyn, an Airbus spokeswoman in Herndon, Va., said she didn’t have any details about the incident and referred questions to Spirit.

Information about the engine manufacturers was reported by Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates.



News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Seattle Sketcher Book

Seattle Sketcher Book

Take home the Seattle Sketcher's latest book! Available now.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising

The Seattle Times photographs

Seattle space needle and mountains

Purchase The Seattle Times images


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►