Boeing 737 carrying Arsenal’s football team experiences engine issues

An Air Horizont Boeing 737, carrying Arsenal Players from Germany, experienced engine problems
Carlo Dedoni /

A Boeing 737, carrying Arsenal football players, experienced engine problems on the runway, with pictures showing the engine flaming out. 

Air Horizont, a Malta-based charter airline, was operating the flight with one of its Boeing 737 aircraft, registered as 9H-MPW. The narrow-body jet was scheduled to depart from Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport (BWE) to London Stansted Airport (STN) on April 23, 2023. However, during its takeoff roll, the flight crew aborted the takeoff attempt and returned to the apron. 

According to the Aviation Herald, the aircraft’s engines experienced problems at about the mid-point of the runway, possibly due to a bird strike, as engine parts were found on the same runway it attempted to depart from. ADS-B Exchange data shows that the aircraft began accelerating at about 7:59 PM local time (UTC +2), peaking at a ground speed of 108 knots before returning to the apron at 8:03 PM local time (UTC +2). 

Pictures on social media showed the Boeing 737’s left-hand engine flamed out on the runway. The aircraft is still at BWE on April 25, 2023. 

Air Horizont was operating flight HAT2271, carrying London Arsenal’s women’s football team following their UEFA Women’s Champions League match against VfL Wolfsburg, which began at 3:30 PM local time (UTC +2) and ended in a 2-2 draw. 

The Boeing 737-400 was originally delivered in 1991 to Greece-based airline Olympic Airways, which merged into Olympic Airlines in 2003. It stayed with the Greek airline and its later iterations until 2009 when in 2011, United States (US)-based Songbird Airways acquired the aircraft.

Air Horizont has been flying with the 737-400 since April 2018, according to data. 

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