Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Boeing 747 engine sucks in luggage container

A while back I got an email forward that contained pictures of airline 'mishaps'. The above picture was included. As with most things airplane related, I sent it along to my Papa. He was skeptical about a few of the pictures, indicating that they were likely airbrushed/digitally enhanced; however, he thought it was quite possible that the above photo was real, given the suction power of a jet engine. Well, it has happened again, this time at LAX to a plane bound for Japan this morning. The LA Times reports that:
A large metal baggage container was sucked into the engine of a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 on Monday as the jetliner prepared to depart with 245 passengers from Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said.

Airport officials said the vacuum created by the air intake of the left outboard engine was so strong that it pulled the empty container off a baggage cart that was either parked or driven too close to the aircraft.

Officials said the container became lodged in the engine's housing.

Japan Airlines took the 747-400 out of service and made other flight arrangements for the passengers and 18 crew members.

The above picture probably isn't real. Look at the front of the airplane: no damage. The bottom photo is likely accurate and is thought to be a local photo, taken at Boeing Field.