United Airlines

United Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Flames Appear to Shoot From Engine

The cause of the mechanical issue remained under investigation; United said the plane will be fully inspected to determine the cause.

Flames appear to shoot from a United Airlines flight.
Thomas Chorny

A plane from San Diego was forced to make an emergency landing in Albuquerque, New Mexico, due to a mechanical issue that appeared to cause sparks to fly from the engine during the overnight flight.

United Airlines Flight 366 was scheduled to land about 4:30 a.m. in Chicago but was diverted as a result of what appeared to be an issue with one of the plane's engines, a spokesperson for United Airlines said in a statement.

Thomas Chorny was aboard the flight and captured video of flashes coming from beneath the plane's right wing. Chorny told NBC News he at first felt bumps that felt like turbulence but when he looked out the window, flames were shooting from the engine.

"It was definitely unsettling... to say the least. They shut the engine down to idle and the flames went out," Corny said. "Then we started banking left and went down to a much lower altitude. So I knew that they were taking some kind of action in response."

Ten minutes later, flight officials announced the plane would be diverting to Albuquerque, he said.

United said the flight landed safely at a gate and passengers disembarked. Another plane was brought in to take passengers to their final destination of Chicago, the airline said.

The cause of the mechanical issue remained under investigation. United said the plane will be fully inspected to determine the cause.

No injuries were reported.

According to flight tracking data, the plane was a Boeing 737-800, not a Boeing 737 Max, the model grounded after two deadly crashes.

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