A routine check on a Boeing 777 almost ended in disaster, as the aircraft caught fire.
As maintenance engineers repaired the aircraft’s Air Conditioner, a fire broke out at the back of the Air India aircraft.
As multiple sources indicate, the APU, or the Auxiliary power unit, caught fire. Apparently, the unit started emitting black smoke as it went to auto shut down mode. The fire crews were ready and they sprayed the back of the Boeing 777 with foam, to prevent a huge disaster from happening.
The APU provides large vehicles with power when the engines are shut off. Most commonly they are used in aviation and such industries like shipping and trucking.
At the time of the incident, no passengers were on board the aircraft. The Boeing 777 sat parked at Delhi International airport.
The Boeing 777 was supposed to departure to San Francisco but after the incident, Air India delayed the flight to conduct proper repairs and investigate the reason behind the incident.
In a statement to the local press, Air India’s officials said that “After this event, APU was examined by opening its cowlings and there was no trace of any burn or external damage noticed except for the minor oil leaks traces, which was normal. Detailed inspection is going.”
The Boeing 777, registered by Air India as VT-ALF is regularly used on the route Delhi – San Francisco. The aircraft is set to resume flights, as Air India engineers found no significant damage to the 777‘s Auxiliary power unit.
You can watch the video of the incident right here:
Fires in aircraft are definitely rare, but sometimes they do happen. For example, almost a year ago, a Tupolev Tu-204 caught fire while in the air with 202 passengers. Nobody was hurt.