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Tue, May 01, 2007

Double-Bird Strike Returns 757 To Manchester

Aircraft Makes Emergency Landing

Two herons got sucked into an engine of a Boeing 757 twinjet leaving Manchester, England on Sunday morning, causing flames to trail from the number two engine. The aircraft made a successful emergency landing after the pilot shut down the engine.

The Thomsonfly aircraft was departing for Lanzarote. The pilot sent a distress radio call, and dumped excess fuel before landing back in Manchester.

According to an airport spokesman, the engine itself did not catch fire, and there were no injuries.

"Within minutes of being in the air, the plane suffered a double bird strike," the spokesman said. "The aircraft's engines are designed to cope with bird strikes but because this case involved two very large birds being sucked in at once there were problems."

British news website Manchester.com quotes the Bird Strike Committee USA in reporting that nearly 200 passengers and aircrew have been killed a result of wildlife strikes over the past 20 years.

FMI: www.manchesterairport.co.uk, www.birdstrike.org

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