18 August 2010

Bird Strike at Wellington

Source : MATT CALMAN - The Dominion Post

A 737 jet has made an emergency landing at Wellington Airport, after bird strike forced its pilots to shut down one engine. A fire communications spokesman said they were alerted to a 'full emergency'' at Wellington International Airport at 1:13pm. An Air New Zealand spokesman said flight NZ450 from Wellington to Auckland returned to Wellington this afternoon soon after take off as the result of a bird strike. "The pilots followed standard procedure and requested the support of airport services, and landed without incident,'' she said. The right hand engine took the bird strike. "Subsequently the pilots elected to shut it down as a precautionary measure.'' It was not yet known what species of bird was involved in the incident. Engineers are now inspecting the Boeing 737 aircraft. The 102 passengers onboard have been transferred to another aircraft to continue their journey. Nine fire engines were sent to back up the airport's emergency services. They were stood down at about 1:30pm when the plane landed safely. Wellington Airport has stepped up its bird control efforts after a run of bird strikes in 1996. Black backed gulls make regular flights across the airport on their way to and from nearby food sources. In one incident a dozen seagulls were sucked into the engine of an aircraft on takeoff. In October there were two bird strikes in one day, and another one the following month.

Well done to the crew!

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