Cargo plane taking off from Anchorage diverts to Fairbanks after engine trouble

A Tokyo-bound cargo plane that experienced engine trouble soon after taking off from Anchorage on Saturday morning landed safely in Fairbanks.

Social media users in Anchorage on Saturday reported seeing and hearing the plane, which appeared to be in distress.

“It was flying really low. Flames shooting from its right engine!” one user in South Anchorage wrote.

“It sounded like a broken road grader when he flew over our house,” another said.

The UPS Boeing 767-300 took off from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and experienced an “engine anomaly” that caused the pilot to divert to Fairbanks to address the problem, Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Alaska office, said Saturday. The NTSB was notified of the issue around 10:30 a.m. and the plane landed about an hour later, he said.

The plane landed without incident in Fairbanks, and no injuries were reported, according to Johnson.

He said the NTSB was still investigating the circumstances of the malfunction, and that the plane did not catch fire.

“I never heard anything about a fire. But again, we’ll follow up on that,” Johnson said.

Annie Berman

Annie Berman covers health care for the Anchorage Daily News. She's a fellow with Report for America, and is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. A veteran of AmeriCorps and Vista volunteer programs, she's previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in the Bay Area.