Air Traffic Controller Responds to Airliner Engine Explosion With ‘Lovely’

A Thomas Cook Airbus A330 departing yesterday from Manchester Airport in the UK experienced what most are calling a right engine compressor stall on takeoff thrust.

A popular plane-spotter captured it on video, and it’s certainly worth a watch – not only for the “lovely” comment by an air traffic controller (I’ll put it in context), but also for the quick skill and reaction of the pilot in command – very impressive, in my opinion.

The air traffic controller in the tower was very calm with his communications to the pilot(s). After advising that fire trucks were approaching off to the right-hand side of the aircraft and receiving his acknowledgment, he simply responded… “lovely.” Very British and very cool.

Don’t get me wrong… while I’m sure it was a scary incident for both the passengers and crew, the pilots and air traffic controller handled it expertly and safely. And I’m very happy it happened while still on the ground, but it’s fascinating and should be of interest to my #avgeek followers.

[Be sure to ‘X’-out of the advert that appears in the video at about 10-seconds in so you can see the engine “explode.”]

– Follow Darren Booth on Twitter, @FrequentlyFlyin, for more airline, hotel and travel industry news, reviews and opinions.

(Hat tip: @FlyingPhotog)


  1. Manchester (or ringway by it’s proper name!) is one of the better airports in the world for plane spotting. There is a great viewing platform near the concord and BAE Nimrod, another on the opposite side of the airfield (Raised again), and one right at the end of 23L. I know this is on 23L because I flew from MAN yesterday 🙂 Shame I missed this though. Great piloting skills to correct the Yaw. Terrrfying if on the plane, no doubt!

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