Air New Zealand says bird strike possible cause of emergency landing

14:31, June 09, 2011      

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An Air New Zealand aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Auckland Thursday after a suspected bird strike damaged one its engines.

Flight NZ175 from Auckland to Perth, Australia, returned to Auckland after the pilot of the Boeing 767-300ER aircraft reported a problem with the left side engine shortly after taking off at 2: 25 p.m., said a statement from the airline.

It landed at Auckland International Airport at 2:52 p.m. without further incident and taxied to the gate, said the statement. No injuries were reported.

"The incident occurred just after take-off at 1,800 feet (549 meters), with bird strike a possibility, and the captain elected to shut down the left hand engine," said the statement.

"The Captain briefed the 206 passengers onboard, including explaining that any flame seen from the engine is not unusual when it is shut down in flight."

Affected passengers were being accommodated in hotels until a replacement aircraft was available for a departure later Thursday.

The engine showed no visible damage, but engineers began an immediate inspection.

The incident sparked a full-scale emergency with fire engines called from other parts of Auckland to the airport.

Source: Xinhua
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