CHARLOTTE — Passengers on a flight that was about to take off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Thursday got a view that nobody wants to see when they look out the window: flames shooting from the wing.
Frankie Leggington shared video of the incident with Channel 9, adding that the plane had to go back to the terminal Thursday evening.
“We were taking off like normal when the wheels go up, you feel a little bump,” Leggington said. “Then all of a sudden, you hear an explosion.”
The video shows the airplane, an Airbus A321, going down the runway at CLT while smoke and flames are seen from the right wing.
Everyone started to panic, Leggington said.
“Nobody knows what’s happening so it’s everyone’s first instinct, is the plane is going to blow,” Leggington said. “So everyone is grabbing their bags trying to run up and run in the aisle.”
Leggington, who was sitting near an emergency exit, recorded video from her window seat.
She sent the video to other passengers.
“Everyone was trying to panic but we couldn’t go anywhere. That was the biggest scare,” passenger Claire Dundon said.
Channel 9 reached out to American Airlines Friday morning after learning of the incident. AA said in a statement, that flight 2288 to Dallas-Fort Worth reported a “mechanical issue” and safely taxied back to the gate under its own power.
AA says the plane was taken out of service for maintenance. It’s not clear what caused the fire.
No injuries were reported.
FlightRadar24 caught the path of the plane as it went down the runway and then returned to the airport.
According to flight records, the plane that caught fire had landed in Charlotte earlier Thursday after a flight from Rhode Island.
Passengers going to Dallas got on a different plane, but it was canceled because of bad weather.
The airline said it is offering compensation to those passengers.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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