INCIDENT | Spirit Airlines A320 faces engine issues at Fort Lauderdale airport

A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-200 aircraft with registration N616NK flying from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Saint Croix (STX) in the U.S. Virgin Islands made an emergency return to FLL on Saturday, July 8, 2023, after the crew reported an engine issue. The aircraft was climbing out of FLL's runway 28L when the crew stopped the climb at FL250 (25,000 feet) reporting an engine (V2527) problem. The aircraft returned to FLL for a safe landing on runway 28L about an hour after departure.


The FAA reported the crew reported a possible engine issue and returned to Fort Lauderdale. The FAA is investigating the occurrence. There were no reports of any injuries with anyone on board the plane. The passengers were transferred to another aircraft and the flight eventually departed for Saint Croix. The cause of the engine issue is not yet known. Spirit Airlines is investigating the incident. This is the second time in recent months that a Spirit Airlines flight has returned to FLL due to engine issues. In May 2023, a Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-200 aircraft with registration N615NK flying from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando made an emergency return to FLL after the crew reported an engine issue.

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Spirit Airlines has a fleet of over 170 Airbus A320-family aircraft. The A320 is a single-aisle, narrow-body aircraft that is capable of carrying up to 220 passengers. The aircraft is powered by two CFM International LEAP-1A engines. Engine issues are rare in commercial aviation. However, when they do occur, they can be serious. In 2018, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 aircraft made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after an engine exploded in flight. The explosion caused the aircraft to lose a large portion of its left wing. 


All 148 passengers and crew on board survived the incident. The FAA requires airlines to inspect their aircraft engines regularly for signs of wear and tear. Airlines are also required to have procedures in place to deal with engine failures in flight. In the case of the Spirit Airlines Airbus A320, the crew followed the proper procedures and returned the aircraft to FLL safely. The FAA is investigating the incident to determine the cause of the engine issue.

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