04/08/2009

Bird Strike Grounds Derry Flight

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There were no injuries yesterday when a Ryanair flight from City of Derry Airport was forced to make an unscheduled landing at Dublin Airport.

It had been struck by a flock of birds, just after the plane began its journey to its destination in Birmingham.

Passengers were transferred onto another flight to Birmingham at about 4pm on Monday and a spokeswoman for Derry Airport said a report of the incident would be made to the relevant authorities.

"The aircraft was diverted to Dublin to allow technicians to check the aircraft," she said.

"The airport's bird hazard management procedures were in operation and a report of the incident will be made to relevant authorities."

Last November, 166 passengers had to be evacuated via escape chutes from a Ryanair plane which made an emergency landing at Rome's Ciampino airport after it was similarly struck by birds during its approach.

Ciampino, which is used by low cost carriers to Rome but is also a military and VIP airport, was closed after the Boeing 737-800, which had flown from Frankfurt Hahn, came to rest at end of the runway with the left hand engine resting on the tarmac. Firefighters covered the plane and surrounding area in fire retardant foam.

The Italian air safety agency ANSV said the aircraft had overshot the runway, "exiting beyond the threshold" during the landing.

Ryanair said the plane suffered "multiple bird strikes to both engines" during its approach to the airport.

It said the aircraft was brought to an emergency stop on the runway and all passengers exited safely - with just minor injuries, due to the evacuation.

The immediate closure of the airport caused a huge backlog and considerable disruption of flights for around 48 hours afterwards.

See: Birds Bring Ryanair Jet To Crashing Halt

(BMcC/KMcA)

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