Lonely Planet Writer

Bird strike forces flight to return to Liverpool airport

A Blue Air flight  had to dump fuel and return to Liverpool Airport when suffering a bird strike 20 minutes after taking off.

Bird strikes are common and normally leads to a plane landing to be checked for damage
Bird strikes are common and normally leads to a plane being checked for damage as quickly as possible Image by Barbara Eckstein / CC BY 2.0

The Boeing 737 plane was forced to go into a two-hour holding pattern over the Irish Sea and parts of nearby Cheshire so that it burnt off sufficient fuel in order to land safely.

Air Blue plane forced to return to Liverpool'sJohn Lennon Airport
A Blue Air plane forced to return to Liverpool’sJohn Lennon Airport Image by Dean Morley / CC BY 2.0

The Liverpool Echo newspaper reports that the plane was in the early stages of its journey to Bucharest when passengers were told by the captain that there was a technical issue which would require a return to John Lennon Airport.

A spokesman for the airport said the plane landed just after 12.30 and was checked to see what damage was caused.

When no damage or marks were found, the plane refuelled and was cleared to take off.

The head of PR at the Airport, Robin Tudor, said that bird strikes can often be a fairly minor thing, but they took the precaution of having it checked back at base.

Mr Tudor said there was no sign of bird debris around the runway which probably meant the strike occurred further out.

A passenger, Jake Walker, told the MailOnline from inside the Boeing 737 that the mood remained calm inside the cabin despite the unscheduled return to the airport and the delay.

The 17-year-old added that what happened the aircraft felt like “a bit of turbulence.”

Following the refueling, the flight took off for a second time without a hitch.