Emirates Jet Catches On Fire In Russia

Emirates flight 176 from St. Petersburg, Russia to Dubai caught fire while still on the ground prior to departure. It’s being reported that the fire was in an engine of the Boeing 777, and that passengers were evacuated. The flight currently shows a 3 a.m. estimated departure time, four hours late, but that seems.. optimistic?

Judging from video of the incident I’d have to speculate that it’s not one of the plane’s engines but its auxiliary power unit, which runs the aircraft’s electrical systems when engines are turned off. It is generally shut down prior to takeoff and re-engaged once a plane lands and clears the runway.

I have to think that complicating repairs will be that, if Emirates doesn’t have a spare APU on site in St. Petersburg for their one daily flight, they’ll have to fly one in from Dubai. Western sanctions make it unlikely that available Boeing 777 parts of this nature will be available for purchase or borrow with proper documentation available.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Definitely APU – exhaust is left side of the paddle tail, inlet is to the right side of the fin at the base.

    Could have been a tailpipe fire following an unsuccessful start, or a broken fuel, oil or hydraulic line, or problem with the APU generator. Not necessarily an APU replacement, and for non-ETOPS flight they could dispatch with APU inop.

  2. Hopefully every plane in Russia burns eventually. Glad nobody was hurt and don’t wish anyone ill. But seriously, any company still doing business in or with Russia should be completely blocked from doing business with the west.

    I wonder if Emirates would still fly to Russia if it meant not flying to Sydney, New York, London, Frankfurt…

    War is an all in or all out thing. Love Emirates. Especially 1st class. But they can’t get a dollar out of me as long as they support Russia.

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