“I just happened to look out and under the left wing there was a flame coming out,” said David Fiedor of Wixom.
It happened last Thursday morning on a Southwest Airlines Flight about to take off from Detroit Metro Airport for St Louis. He said there weren’t many passengers on the plane with open window shutters, with a view of the wing where he saw flames. The plane was moving towards the runway, preparing for take-off.
“It was intermittent. It was the wind. The flame was underneath and coming out sporadically. I knew it wasn’t normal,” said Fiedor.
He immediately got up and walked to where a flight attendant was seated. When she saw him, she told him standing wasn’t allowed as the plane prepared for take-off. He quickly explained.
“I said, 'The wing is on fire. You need to come take a look at this.'”
He says the flight attendant immediately responded and made sure no one panicked. Soon, the passengers were taken off the plane.
David says he travels often for work, and typically does what most people do on morning flights. He closes the window shutter to block the blinding sun, then naps.
“Probably about 95 percent of the time, I am out on the takeoff. My wife always jokes with me about that,” he said.
As the father of four spends time with his wife and children— he is grateful.
“Luckily, I was blessed enough to be looking out the window when I did,” he says.
Southwest Airlines says the flames were caused by a mechanical problem with the plane, which remains in maintenance. The safety of customers and employees is always the top priority.