Fire Forces Yet Another Boeing-Related Emergency Landing

( – Troubled aircraft builder Boeing is facing another public relations issue after one of its planes was forced to land due to an engine fire. A series of accidents involving its new 737 Max airliner, and allegations of poor quality control, have led to unprecedented criticisms of the company. Another incident — even if it was caused by an engine, not the plane itself — will likely damage consumer confidence even more.

On March 19, a Boeing 737-900 operated by Delta Airlines took off from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, heading for Atlanta, Georgia. However, minutes after takeoff a bird was sucked into the port engine, which caught fire. The pilot brought the fire under control and then returned to Aruba, where the passengers had to spend an extra night at Delta’s expense before being flown out on another plane the next day.

Boeing is facing intense criticism right now after poor quality control, mostly linked to the 737 Max — the fourth generation of the 737, which first flew in 1967 — led to a series of accidents. The whole fleet was grounded for almost two years in 2019 after two aircraft crashed, killing 346 people. The FAA has revoked Boeing’s authority to grant airworthiness certificates to its own aircraft, saying the company had put “undue pressure” on its inspectors to certify aircraft, leading to errors being missed. One 737 Max lost a door in flight because the bolts that should have held it to its locking mechanism hadn’t been installed.

The Delta plane involved in the Aruba incident wasn’t a 737 Max; it was a third-generation 737-900. No 737-900 has ever been lost in an accident — and in this case, it wasn’t even the plane that failed, but an engine, which Boeing doesn’t make. Even the engine manufacturer wasn’t at fault, because the fire was caused by a bird strike and no jet engine can survive a large bird hitting its turbines.

However, potential passengers are just going to see another incident involving a Boeing product, and that won’t help the company rebuild its battered reputation.

Copyright 2024,