Bird strike hits Qantas flight
Perth - A Qantas flight landed safely in Perth on Friday after being hit by a flock of birds, with the airline denying witness reports that flames shot out of one of its engines.
Qantas said the Melbourne-bound Airbus A330 carrying 273 passengers and crew took off from Perth at 11:50, only to turn back shortly afterwards and land without incident at the same airport at 12:41.
"It was a flock of birds. Normal air turn back. Normal landing," a Qantas spokesperson told AFP, adding there was "no fire, zero flames".
"They just did a standard turn back," she said, adding that the plane would be assessed for any damage.
Perth residents said they heard strange noises as the plane flew overhead.
"It was making a different noise to what other aircraft make and it sounded like a Russian tank," one witness told Fairfax Radio.
"I looked up and as I looked up there was a big flame shooting out the back."
Fellow witness Fons Berkhout said he heard an unusual sound and looked up to see the aircraft with bursts of flames coming from one of its engines.
"I thought this could be a military helicopter or something like that, it was a very deep rumbling noise, and so I went out and had a look and I could see flames coming out of the back of the left engine," he told Australian Associated Press.
Qantas said all passengers had been transferred to other flights.