Airasia jet forced to re­turn af­ter sus­pected bird strike

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

An AirAsia flight to Malaysia was forced to re­turn to Aus­tralia shortly af­ter take-off fol­low­ing a sus­pected bird strike, the car­rier said yes­ter­day, the sec­ond in­ci­dent in­volv­ing the air­line in the coun­try in two weeks. Pas­sen­gers said the plane shook and bangs came from the right en­gine of AirAsia X flight D7 207 fol­low­ing its de­par­ture from Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur late Mon­day.

The flight car­ry­ing 345 pas­sen­gers and 14 crew was di­verted to Bris­bane air­port just north of the east­ern city and landed safely, the Malaysian car­rier said. “Two bird re­mains were found on the run­way,” the low-cost car­rier said in a state­ment, adding that the star­board en­gine had ex­pe­ri­enced a “sus­pected bird strike”. “We are fol­low­ing all reg­u­la­tory guide­lines to en­sure the safety and well-be­ing of our guests, who are cur­rently be­ing at­tended to by our ground staff,” AirAsia X chief Benyamin Is­mail added.

“We would like to com­mend our pi­lot and crew mem­bers for their pro­fes­sion­al­ism and swift ac­tion to re­as­sure pas­sen­gers who were on board flight D7 207 and to land the air­craft safely in Bris­bane air­port.” The Malaysian air­line said it was ar­rang­ing a spe­cial flight to take the pas­sen­gers to Kuala Lumpur. Pas­sen­ger Calvin Boon said he saw flames go­ing through the en­gine.

“The whole en­gine blown and flame went through it all like (video game) Res­i­dent Evil man re­ally, Res­i­dent Evil,” the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion quoted him as say­ing. An­other pas­sen­ger, Tim Joga, told The Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald the plane started to vi­brate min­utes af­ter take-off. “The plane started shud­der­ing then there were a cou­ple of loud bangs and a lot of light, “Joga said. “I could see an or­ange light com­ing from the win­dows.” An­other AirAsia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur ex­pe­ri­enced tech­ni­cal is­sues about 90 min­utes into the jour­ney on Sun­day and was forced back to Aus­tralia, with one pas­sen­ger say­ing the plane was “shak­ing like a wash­ing ma­chine”.

The air­line suf­fered its first fa­tal in­ci­dent in De­cem­ber 2014, when AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashed in stormy weather off In­done­sia killing all 162 peo­ple on board. That fol­lowed two Malaysia Air­lines tragedies in the same year which left hun­dreds dead, rais­ing con­cerns among some trav­el­ers about the safety of the coun­try’s car­ri­ers. —AFP

BRIS­BANE: This pic­ture taken by Calvin Boon yes­ter­day shows fire res­cue per­son­nel be­side the star­board en­gine of an AirAsia Air­bus A330, af­ter the air­craft on flight D7207 made an emer­gency land­ing at the Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional Air­port. —AFP

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