Burst of flame seen from Garuda-operated Boeing 747 plane upon take-off, landed safely

All 468 passengers and crew were unharmed.

Tan Min-Wei | May 16, 2024, 01:00 PM


A Garuda Indonesia airline Boeing 747-400 plane was forced to return to Makassar's Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport on May 15, after a large burst of flame was seen in the vicinity of one of its engines upon take-off.

Burst of flame

On May 15, a Boeing 747-400 operated by Indonesian carrier Garuda took off from Makassar's Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, carrying at least 450 passengers and 18 crew according to Antara News.

A video taken at the time, purportedly of the incident in question, showed Garuda-1105 taking off, with a large burst of flame coming from around its rightmost engine just as the plane began to leave the runway.

Despite this, the plane managed to get off the ground, before returning after just under two hours in the air.

According to Antara News, Garuda Indonesia President Irfan Setiaputra explained that the decision to return was made by the pilot after the incident.

He added that the aircraft would undergo a thorough check before it was allowed to return to the fleet.

The flight was part of Garuda's Hajj flights, transporting Indonesian pilgrims to Mecca.

Irfan said that all the passengers and crew were unharmed, and were housed at a local airport to ensure their safety and comfort, before an alternate flight was arranged for them later that day.

Pictures taken of the aircraft after it had landed showed significant damage to the engine, with parts of its back half missing.

Previous incidents

This is the latest incident to occur to a Boeing plane in recent years, although it should be noted that engines are not constructed or supplied by Boeing, and are usually arranged separately by the airlines.

Still, Boeing has had an unfortunate history with Indonesia flights.

A crash in 2018 of a Boeing 737 Max 8 operated by Lion Air killed all 189 people on board, one of two incidents that caused the entire 737 Max fleet to be grounded for several months.

There was a separate incident earlier in 2024, where a plug door was blown off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max 9 aircraft.

Incidents like these have led to a intense scrutiny over the scale and number of defects in Boeing planes, incidents which have led to several investigations and lawsuits.

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Top image via @ondisasters/X