A regular one-hour flight to São Paulo on Tuesday afternoon, January 15, 2019, turned into a ‘blazing’ experience for passengers flying with GOL Airlines. Footage taken by a passenger on board has spread online showing the moment the Being 737’s engine started ‘shooting fireballs’.
Flight G31025 operated by the Brazilian carrier GOL (Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes) took off from Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) in Rio de Janeiro at 12:53 PM (14:53 UTC).
It appears that on its ascent over the city, filmed by an unidentified passenger sitting near the wing of the plane, the São Paulo-bound Boeing 737-800 suffered some alarming engine troubles.
In the footage of the climb, taken by the passenger on board, blasts of fire can be seen shooting from one of the engines under the wing of the 737.
The aircraft, which was headed for Congonhas Airport (CGH) in São Paulo, was forced to divert to a nearby Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG) where it landed safely at 1:40 PM (15:25 UTC).
“Gol informs that after flight G3 1025 took off, the flight crew identified a technical limitation in one of the engines, making an alternate landing necessary at the international airport of Rio de Janeiro,” a statement from the Brazilian carrier reads, as reported by The Daily Mail.
“After the disembarkation of the passengers the aircraft was taken for evaluation by the maintenance team… The company reiterates that it implements the highest safety standards, which is Gol’s number one value.”
As for the passengers, they were given seats on the next flight and eventually reached their destination, the carrier said.
The average age of GOL’s all-Boeing fleet, which consists of 737-700 and -800, as well as 737 MAX 8, is 9.6 years.