View Full Version : Lufthansa incident in 2000

23rd Feb 2004, 19:23
This is an incident which took place four years ago on February 22nd 2000 on Lufthansa's Frankfurt-Dublin flight.
I have only recently discovered this forum and I was just interested in knowing if anyone had heard of this incident and/or could shed some light on it for me.
I was a passenger aboard this flight. As I recall, just a couple of minutes after take off from Frankfurt there was a loud "explosion" noise on the aircraft, an Airbus A-321. The aircraft became quite unstable at that stage. Passengers behind me screamed looking out the window, we were near the rear of the a/c, and as I looked out the window I saw a stream of fire coming from the back of the left engine (this was extinguished/stopped just after I looked out).
After what seemed an eternity yet may have only been five minutes the pilot informed us of what was happening, mainly in German,. The only thing we caught in English was that this engine was now on "idle" and we would have to return to Frankfurt. We were told to prepare for an emergency landing, yet no instrructions on how to do so were given. Thanks to the pilot's apparent skill, we landed safely some 20-30 minutes later. Approach was a frightening experience given the large number of flashing lights we could see below awaiting us.
We were parked at a remote area and kept on board for at least an hour! Lufthansa wanted to put us straight on a new aircraft. Many shaken passengers, including myself, didn't want to continue the flight, at least for the time being. They refused and even brought the police on the aircraft to ensure we went to the enxt plane. After many raised voices, and a passenger who was a doctor insisting that shocked PAX not be forced to continue, we were allowed off. The story continues on our initially "terrible" treatment, but I don't want to bore you.
I have always loved aviation and enjoyed flying. I have close family connections in the industry but I'm not in it myself. I beacme very nervous regarding flying for some time, and still am not very happy during take off. I believe this was in part due to the cold treatment given by Lufthansasa cabin crew and ground staff. I know we're all humans and they may have been shaken, but the ground staff? My parents had an emergency landing with Iberia in the late 80's and praised the kindness of all the crew on board and the ground staff at Barcelona.
Any info or ideas?

23rd Feb 2004, 21:09
If the incident really happened, it should be listed here (http://www.bfu-web.de/Bulletin/Bulletin0002.PDF) , but as there is no incident reported for any german plane on February 22nd 2000, I canīt really believe it.
You are shure the date is right ??? If police was on the scene, it was shurely reported to the aircraft accident investigation department, but they appearently have no such information.:confused:

23rd Feb 2004, 21:14
If this ever happened???????? Only a Simple Engine Fire.

No Drama.

23rd Feb 2004, 21:30
I can assure you this certainly did happen as I was a passenger on the plane.

Remember four years have passed and some details can become hazy, or as so often happens in these situations, minor details can grow. The police may possibly have been airport security?

For four years I have searched the internet for info, and as you have pointed out nothing appears anywhere regarding the incident.

Somebody told me back in Dublin that there was a short item about it on Sky News. I've also checked their web and not found anything so I don't know if what the person in question saw referred to my incident.

I remember the date clearly as my afther fell very ill the day before, we thought he was dying (I am happy to say he is still with us, yet suffering from a very rare lung problem). I found out on the evening of Feb 21 and the only flight I could find from MAD was this one via Frankfurt.

I remeber one German passenger saying that there had been a number of incidents at the time in Germany, and he felt the reason they were trying to get us straight onto another plane was to avoid the news spreading. I know and hope their is no truth in this at all.

I sent a letter to Lufthansa after complaining about how we were treated. The rapidly returned a letter of apology (confirming the incident) and telling me they hoped and looked forward to me flying with their airline again.

The indicent, as you said possibly "only" an engine fire which may not be serious, but as a passenger it can be a horrific experience especially when treated so coldly by the staff.

Anyway, thanks and if anyone out there know anything I'd love to know.

23rd Feb 2004, 21:34
Nope, nothing here (http://www.jacdec.de/ALL2000.txt) either and nothing in the AIRCLAIMS database. 2 events involving a Lufthansa A321 between 1990 & 2002, none of them is even close to what's been described above. This is a mystery.

23rd Feb 2004, 21:50
Eh no... sounds like a load of sh!!e to me.

23rd Feb 2004, 21:53
Thanks for the helpful comments.

Regarding the less serious replies, can I just ask why would you say this is untrue.

It's sad to see the lack of seriousness amongst some on the net.

If in doubt, ring Lufthansa yourself!

24th Feb 2004, 00:31

If this did indeed happen why has it taken you 4 years to be able to bring yourself to post anything on PPRune about this "incident" ?

At least its managed to double the number of postings you have under you belt if nothing else.


24th Feb 2004, 00:49
rupetime and a few others of you, just to say I'm in total disbelief at your attitude. As if we were (well I'm not anyway) a bunch of teenagers messing about.

There is no reason for me to proove to you that what I say is real. I know it is as do the other passengers aboard the flight that day.

I will not conitune to respond to these sort of comments, but just to answer rupetime: it's taken me four years to post this item here because I only just discovered this interesting site last week. I have searched the internet on many occassions to find info on the incident, and I have never been successful.

Anyway, this incident had a very bad effect on me. Pre this date I adored flying, and for the past four years I have been fighting against my new fear of flying, often causing me to avoid travel (even to visit my family). I had hoped that someone, especially some professional from within the industry might have heard of ot or might just be able to say something in my continuing quest for reassurance when flying.

24th Feb 2004, 04:05
Toulouse, please ignore the many imbeciles we sadly have on PPRuNe these days. Most of them are spotty little planespotters or FS simulator "pilots". I'm afraid that I cannot help you with any factual details. In the absence, so far, of any expert pilot comments may I just say that there could have been a number of scenarios that could have taken place. From what you describe it would not as such have been an engine fire. If it had, I imagine that the engine would have been completely shut down and an immediate emergency return to the airport would have been made assisted by ATC. The fact that it took you up to 30 mins to get back would indicate that the engine in question was powered back as a precaution and a return single engine landing executed. Again, the emergency services would have been called out simply as a precaution. I agree with you that the whole episode would have been a little frightning but in fact not such a big deal for highly trained crew.

24th Feb 2004, 04:07
Sounds like Lufthansa to me, i was on a flight back from Phillidelphia to Frankfurt when we boarded the aircraft as normal, pushed back from the gate and began taxing. Thats where our flight stopped.............for over four hours!

Within a few minutes of stopping all the engines were stopped and the lights went out. As you can imagine everyone was not only confused but frightened (this is only a few months after 9/11) Many moons passed, the crew nowhere to be seen, it was finally explained that due to thunderstorms the flight would be indefinetly delayed. During this time the crew only once passed through the cabin, did no service, or offer anyone blankets (it was very cold) nor did they let anyone move about in the cabin!

Since then i have refused to travel with Lufthansa, not that the weather could be blamed but the cold treatment by staff and lack of information was appaling, im only to aware of us pax being SLF but on that day we really were! That and other things about lufthansa have left a bad taste in my mouth.

24th Feb 2004, 15:08

as I am working for Lufthansa, at the first glance it really seems strange to say the least. But nevertheless I will be at the airport today and even try to check the details. As for such an incident a flight report is mandatory and even a rehearsal afterwards, there for sure would be still some files...
I will try to inform you if I encounter anything.

What else I got to say?
To be honest with you: first thing you do in any abnormal situation is: FLY THE AIRCRAFT.
You got lots to do during an engine failure/malfunction. Reading checklists, consider where to go or to stay, weather, inform ATC and company, prepare emergency landing and inform cabin crew and so on. So please do understand that a passenger call will move a somewhat to the end of your item list.
And normally with one engine out we do not brief for a creash landing, so there is NO cabin preparation, as a commercial aircraft as well as its pilot should be able to land quite safely with only one operating engine. Just imagine that Boeing did NOT include the otherwhere stated callout 'Safety position' in the ENG OUT list.
(Yeah, this would be actually the ONE ENG INOP LDG for the fault-finders amongst you).
About the English announcement: if you are _really_ concerned with a lot of other stuff, you sometimes don't get up to your used perfect English skills, at least you know what was happening. More isn't said normally anyway.

About the other incident:
Yeah, shouldn't happen. CPT should have said something. Problem with such situations which happen once in a while:
nobody really knows when things are gonna change (here being weather, traffic situation, slot, EMER being in progress...).
Might be you are ready to go in ten minutes, maybe it is still two hours until these things change? You have sometimes no chance to tell!
And cabin crew then sometimes doesn't know: give complentary drinks already, wait a little bit longer? They know even less...

Just wanted to give you some information so far, will try to get back on you later,


24th Feb 2004, 15:59
Toulouse, I echo Avman's sentiments. I first posted on PPRuNe when it occurred to me that someone might know something about a ramp incident at LHR involving a flight that I was on. I got only one substantive answer, to the effect of "I know what happened but I'm not telling you" together with a load of abuse. And that was from someone working in the industry.

I reckon that my big mistake was not getting a couple of hundred posts under my belt first before asking a serious question. Later, I was glad to learn that there is still a lot that one can usefully read and discuss here, despite posters like that person.

24th Feb 2004, 16:23
I've just logged on and you can have no idea how relieved I am to see the serious replies I received since. You know who you are, and thank you:

Avman: Many thanks for your opinions. My wife is an aeronautical engineer, and though she has always played down the incident (she was not on the flight in question with me) and has more or less the same opinion as you. Thank you again!

Easybaby: Glad to see you understand me having apparently experienced similar treatment from Lufthansa. I also said I would never fly with them again, and as I had no say in the reservations, I am flying four flights with them in March, well with their regional company, LH cityline I believe? I'm just considering it as a milestone for me in recovering from my fear of flying. I just broke a major milestone this weekend flying on Feb 22nd, anniversary of the incident. May sound stupid, and I'm not (too) supstitious, but I wasn't too happy booking on that date, but had an extremely pleasant flight with Aer Lingus. Thanks.

Briza: Glad to hear from you and I would really appreciate some info. Believe it, I am totally aware that in a similar situation, the flight crew have more important things on their mind, and I sincerely appreciate their skill that day and in this sense I highly regard the Lufthansa flight crew that day. But the treatment on the ground? When a group of us who were all on the verge of a nervous breakdown were finally allowed off the flight, we were driven to a door just below the finger at the gate we departed from and were literally left their for about 5 minutes on our own in the snow/sleet that had just started falling. Brought up to gate, and were literally asked by Luftansa "So what's your problem? Why didn't you take the flight we just offered?" We were told we couldn't get to Dublin till following day, on telling LH girl that I needed to get there as I was travelling because my father was very ill, her response was, "well if you're so concerned, why didn't you take the flight?" At this stage tempers rose, some passengers started to cry. This had to happen for them to realise how we had been affected. This all 2 hours after incident, finnally brought all pax to VIP lounge, a doctor came to see us, free drinks and food and a LH lady put in charge of us who was "extremely" kind to us and apologetic for the initial attitude of her airline. Rerouted that evening along with another fex PAX on BA via Southampton.
I understand that things can go wrong, and I'm not attacking LH. But on this occassion they "initially" acted well below noth co client relations.
Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you. And thank you.

Globaliser: Thanks for your kind comments.

24th Feb 2004, 16:49
It could have been an engine surge. If the Cpt said 'idle" it means that the engine was not shut down as for fire or failure.
As regards to FRA emergency services, I was there 2 months ago when a LH flt landed with minor hydro problem. The pilot did not declare "emergency" when he was querried by ATC, but the Em Serv went out - Better safe than sorry.
In my airline a surge should have been reported and a MOR - "Mandatory Occurence Report" filed.
Eng Surge can happen for many reasons and if dealt with properly, is not a big deal - it is not in the same league as fire or severe damage.
Good Luck and I just checked my DLAKY (DLH) shares - another 50 cents up...

Right Way Up
24th Feb 2004, 16:50
"If this ever happened???????? Only a Simple Engine Fire.

No Drama."

I hope you are being sarcastic!

24th Feb 2004, 18:55
PPL making a comment here

No Drama

To hell with that. From a flight deck perspective, its stuff that will have been practiced for hours.

From a passenger perspective not only would it would be as scary as hell, it is something they had absolutely no control over which makes it worse. To then try to force scared people onto another aircraft is outrageous.