By: AirTravellerPH Staff
A Philippine Airlines aircraft landed safely back at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after declaring an emergency when flames started shoot out from the right engine. The flight PR113 was enroute to Manila from LAX when the incident happened. There were no reported injuries. While it is speculated that the cause was due to a compressor surge, there is still no word on the official cause pending investigation.
The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER with registry number RP-C7775 was taking-off when the right engine started to shoot flames, prompting the pilots to declare an emergency and to do a go around in order to immediately land back in LAX. The pilots landed the aircraft safely and without any untoward incident.
Based on the audio recording between the pilots of the aircraft and air traffic control, an emergency landing was requested, "Mayday mayday mayday Philippine 113 we have an engine surge on the right engine, requesting emergency landing...".
Videos of the incident which were caught by people on the ground showed the aircraft spitting flames and black smoke. One of the passengers on board Adam Taylor shared on his Facebook account that the "engine backfired and shot flames."
An engine surge or compressor surge happens when there is an increase in RPM of a stalled compressor. The engine's compressor blades are airfoils, and will stall if airflow is not maintained. Interruption of airflow in jets can be caused by ingestion of foreign matter, or excessive application of throttle, and other factors that may cause interruption in airflow. Much has been done to eliminate this issue in modern aircraft, but the nature of the design still makes it possible. If air flow is interrupted to the compressor, the jet can literally backfire, creating a loud "bang". Flames may also be seen coming from the back of the jet as the fuel/air mixture is now excessively rich due to insufficient air.
All 342 passengers and 18 crew are safe.