Terrifying Emergency Landing at Incheon Airport


Passengers aboard a T'way flight from Tokyo Narita to Incheon International Airport endured terrifying moments when their aircraft's engine caught fire during landing preparations. The incident, caused by a bird strike—known as a 'bird ingestion' into the engine—resulted in an emergency situation where the plane had to abort landing and circle for 20 minutes before safely reaching the ground. All 122 passengers on board were unharmed, but the event raises concerns about aviation safety and the increasing risk of wildlife collisions.

Timestamped Highlights

✈️ The T'way flight TW 26 from Tokyo Narita was preparing to land at Incheon Airport when passengers witnessed flames erupting from the right wing's engine, filling the cabin with the smell of burning and heightening anxiety among those on board.
🔥 At approximately 9:02 PM, the airport's firefighting teams were dispatched to the runway as the plane halted its descent, taking off again in a go-around maneuver before eventually landing safely after 20 minutes.
😨 Despite the successful landing with no injuries reported among the 122 passengers, many experienced extreme fear. One passenger recounted seeing flashes of light before realizing the engine was on fire, causing panic.
🐦 The Boeing 737-800 aircraft suffered from a bird strike, a common yet hazardous incident where birds are sucked into the engine, posing a significant threat to flight safety and potentially causing engine and fuselage damage.
📈 Statistics show a rising trend in bird strikes at domestic airports, with over 500 cases reported in the last five years. The increase is linked to climate change affecting bird migration patterns and activities, which heightens the risk of such collisions.
💸 In a notable case, an F-35 stealth fighter jet, valued at over 1.1 billion won, was also forced to retire last month due to severe damage from a bird strike, emphasizing the costly consequences of such incidents.

Key Insights

The incident on the T'way flight highlights the ongoing risks that wildlife poses to aviation. As bird populations and their behaviors are influenced by climate change, the aviation industry may need to invest more in detection and prevention measures to mitigate these risks.
Investigating the root causes of increased bird strikes is essential. Understanding the interplay between wildlife and flight paths can lead to better management practices and the design of aircraft that are more resilient to such incidents.
Emergency response protocols are crucial in ensuring the safety of passengers and crew during such incidents. The quick reaction of the flight crew and airport emergency services in this case demonstrates the effectiveness of current procedures.
The global nature of air travel means that bird strikes are an international concern. Cooperation between countries and regions in sharing data and strategies can help address the challenge on a broader scale.
Airlines and airports face financial implications from bird strikes, including repair costs and potential compensation to passengers. This can impact their operations and insurance premiums, emphasizing the need for comprehensive risk management.
Legislation and regulation may need to evolve to address wildlife hazards in aviation. Policymakers should consider the latest research and technological advancements to inform new standards and best practices.
Data analysis plays a key role in understanding and preventing bird strikes. By analyzing incidents and trends, the aviation industry can better predict and prevent occurrences, ultimately improving safety for all.


What caused the T'way flight TW 26's emergency landing at Incheon Airport?

The emergency landing was caused by a bird strike that led to an engine fire during the plane's landing preparations.

Were there any injuries reported from the engine fire incident on the T'way flight?

No injuries were reported among the 122 passengers aboard the T'way flight despite the emergency situation.

How does a bird strike affect aircraft safety?

Bird strikes can cause significant damage to aircraft engines and fuselages, posing a serious threat to flight safety and potentially leading to emergency landings.

What is the trend in bird strikes at airports, and what might be causing it?

There is an increasing trend in bird strikes at airports, potentially linked to climate change affecting bird migration and increased activity around airports.

What are the financial implications of bird strikes on aviation?

Bird strikes can cause costly damages to aircraft, as seen in the case of the F-35 stealth fighter jet, which was decommissioned due to a collision with a bird.
This blog is a summary of a YouTube video "'공포의 20분'...여객기 인천공항 착륙 중 엔진에 불꽃 / YTN - YouTube" by YTN