A Spirit Airlines fire after takeoff had passengers saying goodbye via text messages to their loved ones on the ground back home. According to “Fox and Friends” live on Wednesday Oct. 16, the passengers aboard a Spirit flight departing from Texas turned back as an engine fire filled the cabin with smoke.
CBS News reports on Oct. 16 that shortly after takeoff the pilot of the Spirit Airline flight turned back to the airport due to “a possible mechanical issue.” Once on the ground the captain described the landing as “normal.” Despite the generic sounding minor problem via the captain, the passengers recall their short flight harrowing.
It was the text messages that passengers sent to loved ones that described the fear and the genuine thoughts that they were going to die. Here is part of one text message a passenger, Casey Rogers, sent to his wife:
"...I love you make sure my kids know that forever. We have a problem I [sic] the plane it's full of smoke [sic] the engine has stop and te [sic] whole plane is shaking ... I love you don't forget it!! Pray for me."
Rogers later did an interview by phone and told KTVT what he saw and what he experienced:
"I saw the engine blow up on the outside of the plane, fire and all that," Rogers said. "I'm thinking to myself, I see this on the movies. I'm usually on my couch eating popcorn. This never happened to me. And here I am 25,000 feet above the ground and this is happening to me," Rogers said.
The flight crew handled things professionally and they remained calm, Rogers conveyed, but the passengers were in fear. Spirit officials played down the experience from their end in comparison to what the passengers experienced. Later the airline officials confirmed that the cabin did fill up with smoke. There were no injuries and everyone got off the plane safely.
The flight was going from Texas to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The plane returned to Texas once the incident occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating this Spirit flight 165 incident.