News Plane incidents — 08 November 2017

DETROIT, MI – A passenger says he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a wing on fire as his Southwest Airlines plane was about to take off.

It happened last Thursday, Nov. 2. Flight 1863 was getting ready to depart Detroit Metro Airport to St. Louis. Passenger David Fiedor of Wixom says he heard a weird noise which caused him to look out the window. What he saw next shocked him.

“I heard a muffled thud. Similar to when the landing gear is engaging. I didn’t think much of it until I looked out the window and saw the wing had flames coming out from the bottom. The flames were coming out intermittently.”

Fiedor estimated the plane had 80 passengers aboard, and he pretty much had the back of it to himself. He says no one else noticed the fire. He unbuckled his seat belt and walked toward the flight attendant to alert her of what he was seeing.

“I got up from my seat and went to the back to where the flight attendant was. She told me to sit down. I told her to come take a look at the wing because it’s on fire. She got up and after about 5 or 10 seconds, she saw the flame, as it was intermittent.”

Fiedor says the flight attendant then radioed to the cockpit.

“A couple minutes later the pilot announced there was a mechanical issue and we headed back to the gate.”

Everyone had to exit the plane and either book another flight or receive a refund. Fiedor believes the plane was about 5th or 6th in line to take off.

When asked about the incident, Southwest Airlines did not acknowledge there was a fire. Instead, they said the plane was still being repaired as of Monday night.

“The pilot in command of Flight 1863 returned to the gate prior to takeoff after receiving reports of signs of a potentially mechanical issue. While there were no indications of anything abnormal, our mechanics are repairing the aircraft and the plane currently remains in maintenance. As always, the safety of our customers and employees is our top priority,” the airline said in a statement.

Fiedor travels occasionally for work and said he usually tries to go to sleep before his plane takes off. But on this trip, he’s glad he was awake to see the problem.

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