Plane returns to airport when geese get ‘sucked into engine’

Cathy Adams
A Swoop plane made an emergency landing when it hit a flock of geese: Swoop

A plane made an emergency landing when it was struck by a flock of birds shortly after take-off.

Swoop Airlines flight 312, which took off from Abbotsford in British Columbia, Canada, returned to the airport when it hit a flock of geese.

Passenger Donna-Lee Rayner posted on Facebook about the flight, which was en route to Edmonton, in the province of Alberta.

“Board the plane all is well. Take off happens and all of the sudden this loud thud thud thud thud happens... smoke in the cabin and the smell of burning,” she said.

“I’m surprisingly calm but yet curious.

“Start my goodbye messages in case my phone is recovered after we crash.”

She added that cabin crew said over the intercom that one of the engines “sucked up some geese” and the smell in the cabin was the birds “getting cooked”.

An update from Abbotsford airport confirmed that the plane landed safely and the passengers had been offloaded to the terminal.

A Swoop spokesperson posted on Twitter: “We can confirm Flight 312 landed safely in Abbotsford due to a bird strike shortly after departure. All travellers were offloaded safely and without incident. Thank you to our captain and crew for ensuring the safety of our travellers.”

The Boeing 737 aircraft was taken out of service for maintenance, and another aircraft was sent to fly the passengers to Edmonton on a recovery flight.

Bird strikes aren’t uncommon.

In 2017, a huge hole was left in the nose cone of an Aeroflot passenger plane after it hit a bird mid-flight.

The flight from Sheremetyevo in Moscow was coming in to land at Pulkovo Interational Airport in St Petersburg, Russia, on 29 November when the incident took place – it is believed the bird hit as the aircraft started its descent.

No one was hurt and the plane landed safely, despite pictures depicting a large hole ripped through the front of the plane.

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