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‘Suspected bird strike’ forces AirAsia X flight to land in Brisbane

Free Malaysia Today logo Free Malaysia Today 4/7/2017 FMT Reporters
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PETALING JAYA: Another AirAsia X flight from Australia to Malaysia has been hit by engine trouble in what the airline called “a suspected bird strike”.

AirAsia X flight D7207 departed Gold Coast at about 10.20pm but was forced to divert to Brisbane after suffering some engine problems shortly after takeoff yesterday. The plane landed safely in Brisbane at 11.33pm.

“The flight was diverted after experiencing a suspected bird strike to its starboard engine shortly after takeoff at Gold Coast airport. The remains of two birds were found on the runway,” AirAsia X said in a statement released last night.

The flight had 345 passengers and 14 crew on board, and the low-cost carrier will be making the necessary arrangements according to the statement.

“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. We would like to commend our pilot and crew members for their professionalism and swift action to reassure passengers who were on board light D7207 and to land the aircraft in Brisbane airport,” AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail said.

“AirAsia X will arrange for a special flight to transport all passengers on flight D7207 to Kuala Lumpur as soon as possible.”

After the flight had landed, some passengers took to Facebook to relate their experience.

One such passenger, Eric Lim, wrote that he saw sparks coming from the right engine of the Airbus A330 aircraft, with the engine having problems immediately after takeoff.

“Successive sparks boom boom boom went off and people were crying and screaming. We are all safe awaiting further updates,” he said on his Facebook page.

He also posted a 15-second video showing the aircraft at the airport after it had landed.

His update from a few hours later showed that with Brisbane not being an AirAsia X destination, there was no airline representative at the airport, but that the airport staff were very helpful.

This incident follows just nine days after AirAsia X flight D7237 from Perth to Kuala Lumpur had to turn back to Perth about an hour into the flight due to engine trouble, with one of the fans on the turbine having broken off.

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