Incredible Emergency Response Dash Cam Video From American Flight 383 Fire

American Airlines flight AA383 from Chicago to Miami caught fire in late 2016 as it was preparing for takeoff.

The Boeing 767-300 had 161 passengers and 9 crew onboard at around 2:50pm Central time and was heading down runway 28R. The crew rejected takeoff, and stopped on the runway, reporting a fire coming from the right wing. The right engine disk ruptured and a piece pierced the wing’s fuel tank.

The crew evacuated the aircraft. A handful of injuries were reported. The aircraft’s fuselage actually melted from fire near the wing.

There’s been much discussion of failures that happened here, the need for engine inspections, better communication between pilots and flight attendants and standardization of the phone used to make announcements. There’s also been a lot of focus on passengers trying to take their bags from overhead bins prior to evacuating.

It was an incredible incident, but somehow I never saw one of the most incredible videos of the event: dash cam from an emergency truck responding to the incident.

It’s not often that an unscripted video contains sound effects that adequately convey a sense of what’s going on, but the scene beginning around 3:25 in this particular video sure as hell does. (Watch your speakers.)

One thing which is particularly noticeable in this video is the effect of wind on firefighting operations. Even flowing well over 1,000 GPM with enough force to throw a straight stream over 200 feet, the wind has no trouble interfering with foam/water/Purple-K application.

..Shortly, this channel will be posting additional videos of the response to AA 383. They will include views from other crash rigs along with new and interesting information about the incident itself. (Hey, you didn’t know about the near-crash, right?)

One light-hearted teaser: The AA 383 fire occurred the day prior to one firefighters scheduled retirement. As of that morning he had not been on shift for the response to an aircraft fire. Ever. (Yes, an airport firefighter. Planes are safe.)

Here’s the video:

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, 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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Thanks Gary, I never would have seen this otherwise.

    Yeah yeah I know I don’t have ‘standing’ to comment on this but nevertheless, I have to say, this makes me angry. The danger to the people on the plane is obvious – smoke/heat/explosion. The heat is extraordinary – the deformed wing is incredible. Yes, there’s danger to firefighters as well.

    What the hell took this truck so long to do something meaningful? Run the nose of the truck up there and get the foam on the fire! These guys are like Jon Lester throwing to first base. Or maybe, the gang unwilling to shoot straight. I have to say I’m shocked.

    Yeah yeah I know we are supposed to bow down to police and fire. But – this is what we pay for, and these guys retire at 50, at 80% pay, and then make bank taking a second job. One guy never saw a fire his whole career. Give me an f-ing break. Sorry (not sorry), this is substantially less than reassuring.

  2. Incredible video – thanks for sharing it. Not sure what steve is griping about. I think it is reassuring that the one guy never had to put out an aircraft fire. Keep in mind that they do train regularly. Ever been in the AC in Terminal D at DFW when they train? You can see the black smoke across the airport and the concerned looks of the people who do not realize that it is a static model for training.

Comments are closed.