American Airlines Strikes Geese After Takeoff, Video Shows Fiery Aftermath


A Boeing 737-800 headed to Phoenix from John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio was forced to turn around for an emergency landing Sunday after geese reportedly flew into one of its engines.

Flames were visible both from inside the aircraft and from the ground, as video shared on social media showed.

“Emergency crews responded to an aircraft incident at CMH this morning involving a reported engine fire,” the airport said in statement. “The aircraft landed safely and the airport is open and operational.”

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The airport later issued a “correction” to that statement, saying that the plane “experienced mechanical issues, not an engine fire.”

Commercial aviation safety analysis company JACDEC tweeted video taken from the ground that apparently showed American Airlines flight 1958 with flames intermittently coming from one engine on its right wing, as well as images of the plane after its return to the airport in Columbus.

Reuters obtained video it was was from the inside of the aircraft, also showing flames coming from the same engine.

“OK, obviously, everybody, we’re having a little situation,” a flight attendant can be heard saying over the planes public address system.

“This is a good time to review that safety briefing card in the seat-back pocket in front of you,” she added.

One passenger responded to that idea with, “Oh, wow,” while others appeared to laugh at the suggestion.

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John Fisher, a passenger on the flight, told WCMH in Columbus that the pilot attributed the problem to “a flock of geese.”

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“Apparently we struck a flock of geese and the engine started making real loud ‘clonk, clonk, clonk’ noises,” Fisher told the outlet. “They eventually turned the engine off and turned around and went back to the airport.”

WCMH said that American Airlines later confirmed that a “bird strike” had caused the issue.

“Airport officials said the emergency landing caused only minor flight delays and that the airport remained open and operational during the incident,” the outlet reported.

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George Upper is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Western Journal and was a weekly co-host of "WJ Live," powered by The Western Journal. He is currently a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. A former U.S. Army special operator, teacher and consultant, he is a lifetime member of the NRA and an active volunteer leader in his church. Born in Foxborough, Massachusetts, he has lived most of his life in central North Carolina.
George Upper, is the former editor-in-chief of The Western Journal and is now a contributing editor in the areas of faith, politics and culture. He currently serves as the connections pastor at Awestruck Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is a former U.S. Army special operator, teacher, manager and consultant. Born in Massachusetts, he graduated from Foxborough High School before joining the Army and spending most of the next three years at Fort Bragg. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English as well as a Master's in Business Administration, all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He and his wife life only a short drive from his three children, their spouses and his grandchildren. He is a lifetime member of the NRA and in his spare time he shoots, reads a lot of Lawrence Block and John D. MacDonald, and watches Bruce Campbell movies. He is a fan of individual freedom, Tommy Bahama, fine-point G-2 pens and the Oxford comma.
Foxborough, Massachusetts
Beta Gamma Sigma
B.A., English, UNCG; M.A., English, UNCG; MBA, UNCG
North Carolina
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Business, Leadership and Management, Military, Politics