Thomas Cook Plane Hits Flock of 50 Storks
The Thomas Cook Airbus A321 on its way to London was forced to make an emergency landing after colliding with ’50 storks’. A plane which was carrying 170 passengers from Banjul airport in Gambia, suffered damage to both engines and the landing gear when it ingested at least 13 of the birds shortly after taking off.
Writing on her Facebook page, Thomas Cook flight attendant Kayleigh Loveridge, from Newbury, described the ensuing safe landing and praised her fellow crew members for their calm attitude.
“We heard big bangs, felt the entire aircraft shake, shortly followed by one of our emergency commands from the flight deck. As crew we were briefed that we would be landing with one engine,”
“We emergency landed, rolled at a very high speed and for a very long time with the fire engines following our trail until the aircraft eventually came to a halt.”
“The entire time, it astounded me that as the flight crew and cabin crew, we were able to stay calm and control the situation. Not once did we hesitate at a command, or doubt ourselves.”
The Aviation Herald reported a number of birds were sucked into the engines – 13 were later recovered. The plane climbed to safety at 7,000 feet. Then entered a hold before returning to Banjul just 45 minutes after departing. It added the crew were forced to shut down one of the engines.
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook Airlines, said:
“The pilots and cabin crew responded extremely professionally according to their training and the aircraft returned safely to Banjul. The customers were accommodated overnight in Banjul and flown home on a different plane the following morning, while the damaged aircraft was repaired and arrived back in the UK last night. We apologise for the unavoidable delay to their return journey.”
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