How Atlas Air Boeing 767 Engine Emitted Flames, Caused An Emergency Landing in Honolulu


Atlas Air Boeing 767-300 heading from Honolulu (Hawaii) to the US territory of Guam was forced to divert back to Honolulu on September 5th, after the aircraft’s right-hand engine suffered repeated engine surges/compressor stalls. While the plane landed safely and no injuries were reported, some terrifying passenger video of the engine emitting flames was posted to the internet.

The Atlas Air’s flight 5Y-8585 had taken off from Honolulu airport just before 21:00. Other reports note that it departed from ‘Hickam Air Force Base,’ which is adjacent to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, sharing the same runway facilities.

The aircraft itself had actually arrived from Anchorage (Alaska) earlier in the evening, touching down at approximately 18:40. With 212 people onboard.

The Aviation Herald notes that the aircraft was in the initial climb out of Honolulu’s runway 08R when the crew declared an emergency. It was reported that the 767 was suffering a right-hand engine (CF6) failure due to repeated engine surges/compressor stalls. In fact, the engine was emitting bangs and streaks of flame. The frightening scene was captured on video.

The aircraft stopped its climb at 2000 feet. Working through its severe engine damage checklist, the crew shut the engine down and requested an ILS approach to runway 08L. It landed safely 30 minutes after departure.

It’s not often we hear of an Atlas Air flight carrying over 200 passengers. But while you might be more accustomed to seeing Atlas Air aircraft flying cargo missions, the company does indeed operate passenger charter services as well. In fact, Atlas Air also operates charter flights for US forces, with the airline saying:

The fact that the aircraft was headed to Guam and the brief flashes in the video show men with military-style haircuts leave little doubt that this particular flight was a military charter operation. ABC News is also reporting that this flight was a military charter.About the aircraft

The aircraft involved was a Boeing 767-300 with registration N649GT. The twinjet is about 28 and a half years old and first flew with now-defunct Hungarian airline MALEV. It had since flown with China Southern Airlines and LAN. The aircraft has been with Atlas Air since May 2016.

It was actually not too long ago – in February 2019 – that an Atlas Air 767 suffered a fatal crash in Houston. 

Culled from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *