A Southwest Airlines passenger looked on in horror as flames erupted from the plane’s engines during an emergency landing in Houston, a moment the passenger captured on video and has since gone viral.
The Southwest plane headed for Cancun was forced to make an emergency landing at Houston’s Hobby Airport. Passengers were moved to a new Southwest plane but Coale Kalisek opted to instead rent a car and drive home after witnessing the engine fire seen below.
This passenger spotted flames coming from the plane engine, which caused the Southwest flight from Houston to Cancún to make an emergency landing. pic.twitter.com/2PJiMkeMl6
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 18, 2023
The passenger told KHOU “all I know is it started swinging like left to right, and I thought, I’ve been on a lot of flights. I think I fly once or twice a month and I knew that wasn’t normal and so I opened up my window and I’m sitting next to the engine and that whole engine you see like fireballs coming out of it.”
When asked about the Southwest plane’s engine fire, he would later say “I’m thinking damn, it’s gonna go down because I fly so much.”
The video has exploded on social media. Countless tweets have featured the engine flames with Americans stunned that this could happen on one of the most trusted airlines in the US.
It does not take a career in aviation to recognize that fireballs shooting out of the plane’s engines is bad. If I’m on a plane and I see massive fireballs shooting out of the engine, I’m pretty confident that engine is about to explode.
Thankfully, they made it to the ground safely. The plane was then taken out of service.
What’s wild is the flames were also filmed from the ground. That’s how bad the fire was, so bad someone standing on the ground could use their iPhone to film it:
He told KHOU he likely won’t be flying again and was out several thousand dollars from the lost trip and added that he won’t be getting on a plane for a long time after this.
Who can blame him? Even if the odds of a plane crash are infinitesimally small, experiencing something like that firsthand and seeing those engine flames out of your passenger window is enough to rattle just about anyone.
For what it’s worth, the odds of a plane crashing are roughly 1-in-11 million according to PBS. Suffice it to say, it is MUCH safer than driving anywhere.