Boeing 737 pilots declare emergency after engine ingested in volcanic ash

Avião Boeing 737-800 Ryanair
Ryanair Boeing 737-800 – Image: Michael Oldfield / CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


A Boeing 737-800 flying for a passenger flight had to return to its original location in an emergency with technical problems after two engines ingested volcanic ash.

The incident occurred last Monday, October 11, in which Ryanair’s aircraft were registered under the registration number EI-ENP. The jet was flying FR-8179 from the island of Tenerife, the largest island in the Canary Islands belonging to Spain, and was facing the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

according to the data of The Aviation Herald, the aircraft took off from runway 07 at Tenerife South Airport, and during the initial ascent phase, at an altitude of 6,000 feet (about 1.8 km), the pilots took a right turn to avoid a cloud of volcanic ash.

Already taking off over the island of Gran Canaria, the aircraft turned left and returned north, continuing its climb as usual. However, upon reaching an altitude of 22,000 ft (about 6.7 km), the pilots halted their climb and declared an emergency to Air Traffic Control, citing problems with both engines.


During the return, the Boeing 737 entered a standby pattern at 1,200 ft altitude (approximately 360 m) south of Fuerteventura Island. The plane made five orbits before landing at the original airport after a two-hour flight.

Data obtained through the radarbox tracking platform show the aircraft’s trajectory through rightward deviation from take-off, northward trajectory, return, hold orbit and finally return to the airport.

Image: radarbox

According to passenger reports, several emergency services were waiting for the plane at the time of landing, after two of the Boeing 737’s engines ingested ash from an active volcano on the island of La Palma.

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All passengers were transferred to a replacement Boeing 737-800 registered under the EI-EGD registration which performed the flight. FR81 to Brussels. The plane involved in the incident remained on the ground till Wednesday afternoon and then took off for London without any complications.

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About the author: Muhammad Wayne

Wayne is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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