The dramatic footage of the BA 777 at Las Vegas look pretty worrying and some of you have asked me to comment. The way to look at this, is that in spite of such a catastrophic engine failure, which is incredibly rare, the captain brought the plane to a safe stop and all passengers evacuated safely with a few minor ankle sprains. This is a testament to the training of the pilots and cabin crew who did a magnificent job. What if the plane had been airborne? It actually might have been better because in the air, the airflow is so strong that flames find it hard to take hold and the slipstream keeps any flame away from the wing and cabin. The plane can fly on one engine perfectly well. The crew could have carried out their fire drill which would have cut off the fuel to the engine, and the landing would have been uneventful, in all probability. The decision point during takeoff is V1 - a speed around 150 mph below which you stop and above which you takeoff. In this case the speed was around 90 its so a stop decision was made. Why did the engine fail so dramatically? We don't know yet but engines are designed to fail without external damage occurring. In this case the failure was "uncontained" in that parts of the engine did escape from the casing and may have caused secondary damage to the plane - we will have to wait and see, but there are reports of engine parts on the runway.