A United Flight Canceled Its Takeoff Last Minute After Its Engine Caught on Fire

By: Julia Mehalko | Published: May 28, 2024

A United Airlines flight aborted its takeoff at the last minute after the plane’s engine caught on fire. This quickly resulted in passengers being removed from the plane.

This plane mishap comes after a string of issues seen on various planes around the world. This also comes during a particularly busy Memorial Day travel weekend.

An Engine on Fire

This plane mishap occurred on a United Airlines flight at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. United Flight 2091 was scheduled to take off and fly to Seattle.

A United Airlines plane seen on the tarmac of the Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Source: Aeroprints.com/Wikimedia Commons

The flight had 148 passengers and five crew members. After being cleared to take off at 2 p.m. local time, the decision was quickly aborted — thanks to the plane having a fire in its engine.


A Last-Minute Decision

This quick decision to abort the takeoff came when passengers were already on the plane. The craft was moved to the gate, which allowed passengers to get off of the plane.

A close-up of a United Airlines plane grounded at an airport.

Source: Jeffry Surianto/Pexels

Quickly, different reports came out about what happened to this United flight. While United officials simply stated that there was “an issue with the engine,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that the engine had caught on fire.

Another Boeing Issue?

After Boeing’s many documented issues seen since the beginning of this year, it may be natural to assume that this recent problem is yet another result of a poorly created Boeing craft.

A close-up of a United Airlines Airbus plane in the air amid blue sky.

Source: Tomás Del Coro/Wikimedia Commons

However, this specific plane actually wasn’t made by Boeing at all. Instead, United revealed it was an Airbus A320.

United’s Statement

After first simply saying that there was an issue with the engine — and then after the FAA clarified that the engine had caught fire — United officials did come out with a statement about what happened.

A close-up of the tail of a United Airlines plane seen in a hangar.

Source: David Syphers/Unsplash

“The fire department and medical personnel met the aircraft out of an abundance of caution,” United officials explained.

The FAA’s Security Decisions

The FAA also decided to make a few moves to ensure that the airport, and this problematic plane, were secure.

A view of a sunset as seen at the Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Source: Gary Meulemans/Unsplash

This led to the FAA deciding to halt all flight arrivals at the airport for 45 minutes before the issue was fully resolved.


Issues During a Busy Travel Weekend

This Memorial Day weekend saw a huge jump in travel, which was anticipated. However, rather unfortunately, this busy travel also resulted in some new plane issues that were reported over the weekend.

A close-up of a United plane flying in blue air.

Source: David Syphers/Unsplash

Because of these many issues, delays became common in some airports and regions of the United States.


Other Plane Problems This Weekend

On Sunday, a Spirit Airlines flight also had a problem when flight attendants warned passengers that they had to prepare for a potential water landing. The plane had begun to have a mechanical problem while up in the air.

A close-up of a Spirit Airlines plane seen in the sky.

Source: Forsaken Films/Unsplash

This flight, which was from Jamaica to Florida, managed to reverse and return to Montego Bay. The plane was safely landed, and passengers were put on another plane for their flight.


An Averted Water Landing

Though no one was injured in this Spirit Airlines flight, the possibility that they may have had to land in the water was enough to make headline news.

Spirit Airlines planes seen on an airport tarmac, as well as up in the air.

Source: Brice Cooper/Unsplash

Notably, this plane was also an Airbus — not a Boeing. This has further worried aviation analysts who have noticed this growing trend of plane issues recently.


A Death From Turbulence

This latest plane incident comes only days after a Singapore Airlines flight dealt with extreme turbulence that resulted in the death of a 73-year-old British man.

A Singapore Airlines plane up in the air.

Source: Saif Zaman ( আয়ান )/Unsplash

This flight also resulted in 104 people being treated at a hospital. About 58 of these patients remain in the hospital, while 20 are in the intensive care unit.


Turbulence Worries Rise

Another plane to Dublin experienced severe turbulence that injured at least 12 people in just the last few days, as well.

Many people sitting down in seats inside of a plane.

Source: Suhyeon Choi/Unsplash

Meanwhile, a third case of extreme turbulence has just been reported. This specific case ended in a flight attendant breaking her back. Other cases of turbulence becoming more severe than normal have been reported in the past week, which has worried some travelers and analysts.


Air Travel Remains Safe

Even though there have been many stories of problems that have happened on planes while up in the air, analysts continue to claim that air travel remains incredibly safe across the board.

A plane taking off from a tarmac in the evening.

Source: Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa/Unsplash

These experts have stated that traveling by plane remains one of the safest ways to travel throughout the United States.