Bird strike the cause of unexpected landing at OR Tambo

2014-03-10 13:50

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A multiple bird strike made a Cathay Pacific Airways’ Boeing 747 destined for Hong Kong land unexpectedly at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Shortly before landing, the plane dumped some of its fuel to ensure an appropriate landing weight. Beeld newspaper reported that people on the East Rand could see smoke on the left wing of the plane and that the aircraft dumped its fuel over Tembisa.

Cathay Pacific South Africa’s spokesperson Sharon Chen said the dumping of the fuel was co-ordinated with air traffic control authorities.

“... Certain airspace is assigned for fuel jettison. It is accomplished at a high enough altitude where the fuel will dissipate before reaching the ground“.

She said engineers were inspecting the aircraft to find out whether the bird strike had damaged the engines or aircraft.

The plane landed just before 2pm on Sunday, about an hour after take off.

“All passengers and crew members aboard the aircraft were safe, without any reports of injury,” Chen said.

The passengers were accommodated overnight and re-booked for a flight today.

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