Friday, September 23, 2011

Qantas Airbus A330: Melbourne-bound plane returns to Perth after bird strike

PERTHNOW readers have told how they heard a loud bang and then saw flames coming from an engine on a Melbourne-bound Qantas passenger jet before it was forced to return to Perth Airport.

The plane, carrying West Coast Eagles fans for tomorrow's preliminary final clash with Geelong, had to return to Perth at 12.40pm after hitting a flock of birds shortly after taking off, a Qantas spokesman confirmed.

Shirley White, of Waterford, said she was watching the plane when she heard a loud bang.

"The engines sounded like they lost power and the plane didn't look good. (I) thought to myself this plane is in trouble, my heart was pounding as I thought it was going to crash.

"(It was) the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life. I am still feeling shaky from the experience."

John of Kewdale said: "Must have been a big bird. The plane was struggling before the engine went bang and there was smoke and flames coming out of left engine".

Another reader said: "I watched this plane going over my house because it was making a funny noise. Kinda (sic) sounded like the engines were slowing then speeding up then slowing. Also a wierd hum."

One witness questioned if a bird strike caused the drama.

"That was no bird. It flew over us at 12.15pm the noise it was making was incredible, it lasted about 15 seconds then there was a bang, then flames from the left jet."

The Qantas flight 802 was turned back so engineers could assess the damage.

The spokesman said bird strike was not uncommon.

“This happens all the time,” he said.

"It's not a big deal for us."

The plane left Perth Airport at 11.50am and landed safely back at the airport at 12:40pm.

The spokesman said there were 273 passengers onboard the plane and nobody was injured.

http://www.perthnow.com.au

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