5 Sep 2017

Passenger Jet Makes Emergency Landing After Bird Strike Causes Engine Fire

Japan Airlines Plane in Flight

A Japan Airlines jet was forced to turn back and make an emergency landing shortly after taking off from Tokyo’s Haneda International airport on Tuesday.

None of the 248 passengers were hurt, but many were clearly rattled by the incident.

“Right after taking off, we heard five bangs and the plane shook,” a 57-year-old passenger told NHK after landing. “But all the passengers were calm.”

Another passenger, 17, said, “I was nervous at first. I’m glad we were able to come back safely.”

Footage released by Japan’s national news agency shows flames coming from the left engine of the Boeing 777 during take-off. Shortly afterwards, the flight crew requested an emergency landing. Fuel was jettisoned as a safety measure before landing. “It seems that a bird got sucked into the left engine when taking off,” a JAL spokesman told AFP news agency.

Bird strikes are a common occurrence in aviation, but rarely problematic as planes are designed to withstand them. Haneda, one of the world’s busiest airports, is reported to be the worst for bird strikes in Japan. There were apparently 182 cases of bird strikes last year, which was followed by Osaka airport with 73 cases and Narita at 57, according to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper.

 

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