Onward! British Airways Pilots Undeterred by Burning Engine

Looking out the window of a British Airways 747, passengers might have been shocked to see flames shooting out the engine, like the afterburners on a military jet at an air show. But this was no air show, and the soundtrack did not include the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”

Air traffic controllers at LAX alerted the pilots that their engine was on fire, but to the ground controllers’ surprise, the plane didn’t return to the airport for repairs.

The pilot’s answer: “We just decided we want to set off on our flight-plan route and get as far as we can.”

“As far as we can” ?? Umm, a plane can’t just pull over at the side of the road and wait for AAA.

Even though the 747 is generally capable of using 3 engines instead of 4, why take the chance of further problems arising? The pilots are accused of trying to save the airline from paying compensation for delays (reportedly


Beyond machismo and cost-savings, we are left to assume that wagers were involved. The plane eventually made an emergency landing in Manchester, just shy of London. It’s unclear who won or lost the bet.

Air controllers amazed as BA pilot flies despite fire [Guardian]