Atlas Air Boeing 747 Makes an Emergency Landing Due to Engine Fire

An incident involving an Atlas Air Boeing 747-8F, identified as N859GT, necessitated its return to Miami International Airport (MIA) shortly after takeoff. Social media videos showed the aircraft’s engine emitting flames, a sign of a compressor stall/surge.

This cargo flight, under the call sign 5Y 95, was en route from MIA to San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) in Puerto Rico. The aircraft left Miami at 22:32 local time (UTC -5), though it was initially scheduled to depart at 21:00, as per Flightradar24.

Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft encountered a problem, climbing only to a maximum altitude of 3,875 feet (1,181 meters) before returning to MIA. The flight lasted just 13 minutes, with the Boeing 747-8F landing at 22:45. Notably, the Atlas Air crew did not squawk 7700, a code for general emergencies, to Air Traffic Control (ATC).

Atlas Air Boeing 747

LiveATC archives for MIA Departure South revealed that the crew issued a Mayday call, reporting an “engine fire.” Upon being queried by ATC about fuel jettison, the crew stated their intention to land with the existing fuel, noting the presence of five individuals and enough fuel for five hours on the four-engine aircraft.

The flight crew informed the departure controller that there were issues with the number two engine, located on the inner part of the left wing. An Atlas Air representative confirmed this incident to Simple Flying, stating that the Boeing 747-8F suffered an engine malfunction soon after leaving MIA.

The crew followed all standard procedures and safely returned to MIA. At Atlas, safety is always our top priority and we will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine the cause.

Atlas Air spokesperson confirming the incident to Simple Flying

Further, audio from the ATC radio, which has a camera near MIA’s runway 09/27, captured a controller advising UPS flight 5X354 of a delay. The controller explained, “We are going to delay you a bit, as the departure controller is handling an emergency situation from a recent departure.” It was also mentioned that the UPS Boeing 767F would depart from MIA in approximately 10 minutes. Originally scheduled for a 22:21 departure, the flight eventually took off at 22:44.

Featured image by KMCO Spotter

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