NBC5 is reporting that a Chicago-bound American Airlines flight has made an emergency landing in St. Louis after taking off and being forced to return to the airport due to an engine fire. No one was hurt, but the incident is very likely to cause delays. From NBC5:
A passenger on the flight, Lane Harris, told MSNBC that he credited the pilot for bringing the plane in as smoothly as possible, although the landing was rough.
“We slammed the ground pretty hard,” he said.
A runway at the airport has been shut down, which is likely to affect many major airports across the country.
There were 139 passengers on the jet and many were en route to Chicago to catch other flights. The flight also had five crew members.
UPDATE: New info posted. Sounds like the pilot is extremely good at his job:
About 5 minutes into the flight, the pilot came on,” said Lane Howard. “He was very calm — none of us knew something serious was going on. He just said, ‘You know, we’re going to go back and land and see what’s happening.’ And as we came closer to land, we started realizing that something more was going on, because the plane was wobbling back and forth on the horizon.
“After we came to stop and people applauded that we were safe, he told us that there was an engine fire in the left one, and he had it shut down, and that’s why we didn’t have the power to land. He said he lost his hydraulics, so he couldn’t lift the wings up and down to guide the plane.”