Navy aircraft engine catches fire, lands safely at Corpus Christi International Airport
By MONICA LOPEZ | The Corpus Christi Caller-Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: November 6, 2017
A Navy aircraft landed at the Corpus Christi International Airport with flames coming out of its engine midday Monday.
The P-8A Poseidon, which was in the area making approaches to the Corpus Christi International Airport, when the left engine caught fire. Airport officials said the aircraft was doing some training in the area for the day, which is normal activity. Earlier reports that indicated the right engine caught fire were incorrect.
Flames were coming out of the left engine when the pilot landed the aircraft in the airport.
Kim Bridger-Hunt, marketing manager for the airport, said she saw the aircraft through a window in the airport and assumed it was taking off from the airport because it was low to the ground with its nose up.
"We heard the booms and saw the flames coming out of the engine," Bridger-Hunt said. "That's when we knew something serious was going on."
John Hyland, chief of public safety for the airport, said the aircraft landed about 11:55 a.m. at the airport.
Hyland said the Corpus Christi police and fire departments, the Nueces County Sheriff's Office and airport officials responded and controlled the fire and turn off the engine.
At 1 p.m. the airport resumed regular operations, Hyland said. He said the aircraft only slowed operations at the airport, while a more serious incident would have caused the airport to shut down.
"It is now a mechanical issue," Hyland said.
Hyland said the aircraft is parked in the general aviation ramps at the airport, where a mechanic will work on it.
Although the aircraft is the size of a commercial plane, only two passengers, said to the be the pilot and copilot, were onboard.
Liz Feaster, public affairs officer at Chief of Naval Air Training based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, said the aircraft was not a Navy trainer with Naval Air Station Corpus Christi or Naval Air Station Kingsville.
"We don't know where it came from and what it's doing here," Feaster said.
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