Passenger jet makes emergency landing in Abbotsford after hitting birds – Aldergrove Star

Passenger jet makes emergency landing in Abbotsford after hitting birds - Aldergrove Star
Terrified Swoop Passengers Started Writing Goodbye Messages Before Emergency BC Landing
A Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing Tuesday after several geese were sucked up into one of its engines near the Abbotford airport.

Flight 312, from the discount airline Swoop, took off from the Abbotsford International Airport at around 8:15 a.m. A short time later, the Edmonton-bound plane hit the birds and had to land again.

“I started yelling, ‘Fire in the right engine, fire in the right engine!’ The flight attendant came running and she’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ And I said, ‘There’s a fire in the right engine.’

A flight tracking website suggests it circled the area just south of the border, and landed back at YXX at 8:38 a.m.

According to the airline, Flight 312 landed safely in Abbotsford after striking birds shortly after takeoff. All passengers have disembarked the Boeing 737 and are waiting in the terminal.

In an emailed statement, the airline said passengers "were offloaded without incident" after the bird strike.

“We probably got to a couple thousand feet in the air, fire was still coming out of the engine, and the captain said we were doing an emergency landing.

"The aircraft involved in the bird strike has been inspected and is undergoing repairs. It is expected to return to service this evening," the email from Swoop said, adding that theyre working to accommodate 176 affected travellers.

"Safety is our number one priority and will always be at the forefront of our decision making. We apologize for the inconvenience to our impacted travellers."

Swoop aircraft hits geese, returns to Abbotsford

The discount airlines website initially showed the flight had been moved to a 10 a.m. departure, but was later updated to suggest it wouldnt leave until 8 p.m.

“We are working on reaccommodation options for the 176 impacted travellers and will provide updates as available,” the statement reads. “Safety is our number one priority and will always be at the forefront of our decision making. We apologize for the inconvenience to our impacted travellers. ”

UPDATE: Aircraft successfully makes emergency landing at Abbotsford International Airport

This is a significant strike, said Parm Sidhu the Abbotsford International airport general manager, well look at everything.

“At first, I could see just a little trail of smoke coming out of one of the engines, but that stopped right away,” Schellenberg added. “There was lots of emergency vehicles around — it looked like they had everything in place exactly as they should. It was a good ending to that story.”

Sidhu said the airport does have wildlife and bird plans in place such as sound mechanisms, just like every airport is regulated to do.

“I just walked out to the airport — we live just west of the airport — and when I got there, emergency vehicles were just arriving,” she said. “One police car had blocked off the road into the airport, and then soon there was several other emergency vehicles that arrived.”

In August, there were seven reported bird strikes at the Abbotsford airport, although none had any documented effects on airport operations.

"Basically as the aircraft was rolling down the runway, it felt like we hit a bump," said Edmonton man Fadhl Abu-Ghanem. "Next thing I know I start seeing flames coming out of the right engine…I also felt very strong heat… I looked around for a flight attendant and couldnt find one so I just started yelling Theres fire, fire, fire right engine, fire right engine!"

This is the first time that I recall that we actually had an aircraft turn around and land due to wildlife issue, said Sidhu. First responders attended the scene, fortunately no one was injured.

"Ive been on a plane before where the tire blew out when it was on take-off. Thats pretty benign compared to this," he said. "Theres smoke, theres fire and you think Well, is this it?"

Any time theres an incident public safety is first. We will work with our partners and review the processes.

Witness reorts suggest loud "booms" could be heard from the ground below at the time of the incident. Some suggested theyd seen smoke or fire.

Abu-Ghanem said everyone started to yell about the flames before the captain made an announcement that the aircraft struck some geese and would be making an emergency landing.

"The lights would come off and on. Over at the window seat, they start yelling, Fire! Fire!"

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

Fadhl Abu-Ghanem, who was able to see out the window, said he saw flames coming out of the engine and felt the heat.

"A flight attendant comes and I said, The right engines on fire!… I started texting my mom saying, Somethings wrong with the airplane. I love you."

A statement from the airline said staff are working on recommending travel options for people who were onboard the plane. Swoop is a low-cost subsidiary of WestJet.

A Facebook post from a woman who said she was also on the plane at the time said passengers were told "one of the engines sucked up some geese."

Flight 312 left for Edmonton at 8:18 a.m. PT and landed back at the airport 10 minutes later after hitting the birds, according to the airport's general manager.

She said they smelled smoke in the cabin, and were told the 737 was turning around because it was down to one engine.  

There was a birdstrike at YXX – the Aircraft has landed safely passengers have been offloaded into the terminal safely. Updates will be available in the coming hours.

A Swoop plane is seen after making an emergency landing in Abbotsford, B.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Donna-Lee Rayner)

A passenger on the aircraft said she heard loud “thuds,” noticed smoke in the cabin and smelled something burning.

A B.C. man from Tsawwassen who says he planned to visit the beach and buy some groceries in the U.S. exclave of Point Roberts, Wash. says border officials instead handed him a five-year ban and told him to go back to Canada. 1

The Edmonton-bound aircraft made an emergency landing in Abbotsford after it collided with a flock of geese. Ed Turner

People onboard a Swoop airline this morning got the scare of their life when a Swoop flight made an emergency landing in Abbotsford after hitting a flock of geese mid-air. The incident took place at around 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10. Passengers were left shaken and posting their experiences on social media. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Swoop has made headlines in recent weeks for similar situations. 

"Basically as the aircraft was rolling down the runway, it felt like we hit a bump," said Edmonton man Fadhl Abu-Ghanem. "Next thing I know I start seeing flames coming out of the right engine…I also felt very strong heat… I looked around for a flight attendant and couldnt find one so I just started yelling Theres fire, fire, fire right engine, fire right engine!"

Flight number 312 originally departed from Abbotsford at 8:07 a.m. on and was headed towards Edmonton. The Boeing 737 aircraft was carrying 100 people at the time and was expected to land in Alberta at 12:21 p.m. local time. 

"Ive been on a plane before where the tire blew out when it was on take-off. Thats pretty benign compared to this," he said. "Theres smoke, theres fire and you think Well, is this it?"

What started off as a normal flight quickly turned scary when the plane was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff. 

There were seven reported bird strikes at Abbotsford International Airport in August of 2019, though none had any documented effect on airport operations, according to Transport Canada. 

According to a tweet released by the Abbotsford airport, the Swoop plane was forced to make an emergency landing in the B.C. city after allegedly hitting a flock of geese. It is unknown how many geese the Boeing hit, but sources say you could hear the impact.

Abu-Ghanem said everyone started to yell about the flames before the captain made an announcement that the aircraft struck some geese and would be making an emergency landing.

While everyone is reported to be safe and sound, it was a terrifying event. One woman has spoken to Narcity about her experience. 

According to a Facebook post by Donna-Lee Rayner, all was well when she and 99 other people boarded the plane. 

After takeoff, Rayner recounts hearing a sudden and loud thud that occurred several times. That is when the cabin filled with smoke. Rayner said she could smell burning. 

There was a birdstrike at YXX – the Aircraft has landed safely passengers have been offloaded into the terminal safely. Updates will be available in the coming hours.