(The Hill) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating fires on two separate American Airlines flights after two planes over the past week reported engine damage in North Carolina and Ohio.
American Airlines Flight 2288 canceled its takeoff from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina last Thursday, due to a possible engine fire, the FAA told The Hill. A second plane, American Airlines Flight 1958, returned to John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio on Sunday after a possible bird strike. The FAA said it would investigate both incidents.
The plane that might have struck a bird, headed from Ohio to Phoenix, Arizona, was seen on fire in a cellphone video confirmed by NBC News. The video showed spurts of flames shooting out from the right side of the plane as it flew.
The issue of bird strikes has been growing, according to the FAA. The number of reported strikes increased by 144 percent between 2000 and 2017, the agency reported. It has prompted more research into methods to avoid such collisions.
The incident on the plane leaving Charlotte, which was bound for Dallas-Fort Worth, was due to a mechanical issue, the airline said. It was taken out of service for maintenance.
The two incidents come as increased scrutiny has been placed on American air travel in the past months, with a number of runway close calls and mass flight delays hampering federal regulators.
Thousands of flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines over the holiday season prompted outrage from stranded travelers.
There have been at least six serious “runway incursions” at U.S. airports this year — when collisions between airplanes have been narrowly avoided — prompting federal regulators last month to pressure airports and airlines to put a stop to the concerning trend.