United Airlines pilot diverts Boeing 737 as flames burst from engine: video 

United Airlines N68822 Boeing 737
Santiparp Wattanaporn / Shutterstock.com

A United Airlines pilot initiated an emergency landing in the United States (US) after flames began to burst from the plane’s left engine. 

The United Airlines Boeing 737-924 departed George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston on March 4, 2024, shortly before 18:25 local time, when around 10 minutes into the flight the 737’s engine began to surge causing flames to sputter from beneath the wing.  

United flight 1118 had been due to land at Southwestern International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers around two hours later but the pilot was forced to divert back to Houston.  

According to passengers on the aircraft, registered N31412, the plane was vibrating hard, and the pilot shut down the malfunctioning engine. 

In a video shared on social media the pilot can be heard telling the passengers that the flight crew “realize something is happening outside”. 

The United 737 landed safely back in Houston and passengers were put on a replacement plane to continue their travels to RSW.  

“United flight 1118 returned to Houston shortly after takeoff due to an engine issue,” United Airlines said. “The flight landed safely, and the passengers deplaned normally. We arranged for a new aircraft to take our customers to their destination, which departed for Fort Myers later that evening.” 

Engine surges occur when there is breakdown in airflow through the engine’s air compressor. 

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