An Atlas Air flight from Honolulu, Hawaii, to the U.S. territory of Guam, in Micronesia, had to turn back and land in its departure airport after its right engine suffered a failure during the initial climb, spewing fire under the eyes of distraught passengers.
The Atlas Air Boeing 767, registration N649GT, was carrying out flight GTI8585 from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Guam International Airport (GUM) on September 5, 2020. The flight was chartered by the United States military.
While climbing out of Honolulu, the aircraft suffered a failure of its right-hand engine, with repeated compressor surges emitting visible blasts of fire. A passenger filmed the incident from inside the cabin.
The flight crew declared an emergency before aborting the flight, shutting the engine down, and landing back safely in Honolulu 30 minutes after departure. Fortunately, the incident caused more fear than harm, as no injuries were reported.
Atlas Air released a statement regarding the incident, without providing further details on what caused the engine failure. “An Atlas Air passenger flight landed safely at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu following a mechanical issue with one engine,” the statement reads. “At Atlas, safety is always our top priority and we will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine the cause.”