Monday, July 3, 2017

Cause of the United Express Engine fire: the plane’s tire caught fire and spread to the engine

DENVER, CO (CBS4)– The operating airline for the United Express flight that caught fire says the plane’s tire caught fire and spread to the engine.

The flames broke out after Skywest flight 5869, operating as United Express, finished its short flight from Aspen to Denver International Airport on Sunday afternoon.

SkyWest plane fire (credit: Raiyan Syded / Twitter)

“Probably a piece of tire acted as a shrapnel getting thrown into the engine cowling, which is the intake of the engine,” said retired pilot Capt. Ross Aimer. “And a piece of hot tire caused the fan blades perhaps to fail and the engine caught fire.”

Everyone escaped the burning plane. Denver firefighters were able to get the fire under control on the runway at DIA.

The plane has been taken out of service while the FAA investigates the exact cause of the fire.