747 sucks a baggage container into its engine at LAX

Yesterday, a 747 at LAX sucked an entire baggage-cartcontainer into one of its engines. No one was hurt:
The incident occurred yesterday afternoon as Japan Airlines Flight 61 to Narita was pushing back from the terminal gate. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, Ian Gregor, said a baggage cart was being towed by at the same time and the engine ingested one of the containers.

Airport officials told the Los Angeles Times the vacuum created by the air intake of the left outboard engine was so strong it pulled the empty container off the baggage cart. The object was lodged in the outer left-side engine of the four-engine jet.

Baggage container sucked into Boeing 747 engine at LA airport


  1. Haha: “Ingested!”

    747 – Mmm, that was one tasty breakfast. I wish there was some baggage in that container. Do you have anything else on the menu LAX? Baggage handlers perhaps? They’ve got good protein for those long haul flights.
    LAX – I’m sorry Mr. 747, our new policy is to avoid ingesting people.

  2. That Sucks! (sorry, it had to be said ;^)

    Seriously though, I don’t think the carts are that heavy – they look like aluminium, and pretty frail construction at that (only four sides and a set of wheels – at best, some resemble a child’s wagon)…

  3. It was an empty container that was on a cart, not an actual cart that got sucked into the engine. Any sort of container made to be reused on an airliner is going to be pretty light.

  4. And that’s at idle! If they’re spooled up, those engines would suck that thing right through. (And destroy themselves in the process, of course.)

  5. In which ground personnel relearn expensively that jet engines suck and blow.

    And here’s for the blow.

    Also a good demonstration of why being in a car in a tornado is a really bad idea.

  6. “ingested” , really?

    tr.v., -gest·ed, -gest·ing, -gests.
    1. To take into the body by the mouth for digestion or absorption. See synonyms at eat.
    2. To take in and absorb as food

    If airliners are peckish I think we ought to feed them something more wholesome than bikinis and suntan lotion in a faux leather pastry.

  7. I’m glad that there weren’t too many turbine blades damaged. Those things are expensive.

  8. The current issue of Vanity Fair has an excellent, information-rich article about turbojet bird hits. Although the article centers on Sully’s brilliant landing in the Hudson, there’s a tremendous amount of detailed information about precisely what happens inside a jet engine when a foreign object happens to enter.

    “The destruction starts when the bird hits the fan. Even as the bird is turning into slurry, it causes fan blades to bend, erode, and fracture—reducing the fan’s thrust, and sending a hail of titanium debris deeper into the engine. Some of the debris exits harmlessly with the bypass air, but as the fan slows and deforms, other debris finds its way into the spinning compressors at the entrance to the jet core, where it sets off a cascade of successive failures…”

  9. Not to mention the effects a massive unbalance causes on such a rapidly rotating mass of metal which then tries to tear itself out of the bearing cases and ultimately tries to rip the engine off the airplane. Sudden stoppage of the rotating mass increases those forces exponentially.

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