MIAMIA Spirit Airlines (NK) Airbus A320neo had to be evacuated at Atlantic City Airport (ACY) after a bird strike caused the right engine to catch fire.

The jet was accelerating for departure at ACY’s runway 31, but owing to a bird strike with the right engine, the crew rejected the takeoff at roughly 60 knots. The plane came to a halt only 1,800 feet down the runway after a low-speed aborted takeoff.

As a result of the incident, the Pratt & Whitney PW1127G-JM turbofan right engine caught fire.

Spirit Airlines’ Airbus A320neo fitted with Pratt & Whitney GTF engines. Photo: Chris Sloan.


The pilots summoned fire trucks and gave the order to evacuate the passengers once the fire was under control, advising them to stay clear of the right-hand engines. As per normal evacuation procedures, the passengers were told to leave everything behind and simply hop on the slide to exit the aircraft.

However, some passengers took their belongings down the slides instead. ACY stated that two people suffered minor injuries during the evac. The birdstrike incident occurred at approximately 17:47 local time. The flight had 102 passengers and seven crew members on board, according to 6ABC.

Comments from Spirit Airlines

In response to the event, NK made the following statement:

“Spirit flight 3044 from ACY to FLL encountered what is believed to be a large bird while accelerating for takeoff in Atlantic City, which entered one of the plane’s engines. The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures.”

The flight was scheduled to depart from Atlantic City for Fort Lauderdale (FLL) yesterday evening, October 2. Involved was an almost-two-year-old Airbus A320neo aircraft with the registration code N922NK.

Featured image: Spirit Airlines N913NK Airbus A320Neo. Photo: Brad Tisdel/Airways