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Possible Bird Strike Causes Passenger Plane To Burst into Flames Mid-Air

Possible Bird Strike Causes Passenger Plane To Burst into Flames Mid-Air

BY LIPSY GRACE LUCAS Published on June 18, 2024 0 COMMENTS
Bird strike blamed for fiery Virgin Australia emergency | The Australian
Photo: The Australian

 

A Virgin Australia passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Invercargill Airport after one of its engines caught fire, possibly due to a bird strike, according to Stuart Aggs, Chief Operations Officer.

 

"Virgin Australia flight VA148 from Queenstown to Melbourne diverted to Invercargill Airport and landed safely following a possible bird strike on takeoff this evening," said in a statement.

 

The Boeing 737-800 took off from Queenstown Airport at 5.50 pm local time with 67 passengers and six crew members on board.

 



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Bird strike causes engine fire and return to airport for American flight
Photo: NBC NEWS

 

Following the incident, the aircraft diverted to Invercargill Airport and landed safely. Emergency services, including New Zealand's fire service, met the plane upon arrival.

 

Virgin Australia confirmed that all passengers disembarked safely without any injuries reported.

 

Meanwhile, the airline reassured us that all affected passengers would be accommodated in Invercargill overnight and new flights would be arranged.

 

Witnesses described hearing a loud bang during the incident, with one passenger said feeling the heat from flames as the plane took off.

 



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Virgin Australia flight's 'possible bird strike' forces Boeing plane's  emergency landing in New Zealand | Fox Business
Photo: Fox Business

 

"I could feel the flames as we took off. I'm sitting just behind the wing on the right-hand side", the passenger said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

 

Hamish Walker recalled hearing a massive bang while cooking dinner.

 

"I heard this massive bang.. it was the worst noise you ever heard, and you know something is wrong", he said.

 

Bird strikes are recognized as a serious hazard in aviation, potentially causing significant damage to aircraft and posing risks to passengers and crew.

 



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Passenger recounts Virgin Australia flight that made emergency landing |  SBS News
Photo: SBS

According to data from a Federal Aviation Administration database, over 2,300 wildlife strikes were reported in 2023. The vast majority of these incidents involved birds.

 

Aside from the risk of fire, it can affect aircraft in several ways, including damage to engines, wings, noses, and windshields. This can also cause to engine failure and be dangerous during takeoff and landing when the aircraft is at a low altitude and speed.

 

 

 

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