A Jet2 Boeing 737 is this evening thought to have encountered a bird strike and as a result taken out one of the engines.
The technical are: A Jet2.com Boeing 737-300, registration G-CELD flight LS-804 from Barcelona,Spain to Manchester,UK with 144 passengers, was on approach to Manchester's runway 23L when the right hand engine (CFM56) ingested a bird and suffered repeated compressor stalls. The crew went around from about 1200 feet and entered a hold shutting the engine down, positioned for another approach and landed safely about 20 minutes later.
What is not realised by the passengers and seemingly not explained by the cabin crew is that the aircraft is still capable of flying with just one engine while it completes a go-around, so the control tower can see what is happening underneath the aircraft and report back to the pilot.
It also gives the fire and rescue services enough time to assemble airport fire crews alongside a target landing runway.
Local agencies reported:
“When we came back down the second time we were told to get into the brace position. It was a really smooth landing in the end. All the staff did a fantastic job.
“But I will still never get on a plane again that’s for sure.”
Simon said: “It was really scary, especially having the kids with us, as they were really upset and crying. It’s not something you really want to see. When I saw the sparks I couldn’t believe it but I didn’t want to make a scene and frighten everyone else even more.
“I’m just glad we landed safely and we’re all okay. Even if we are a bit traumatised.”
Lynne Jankowska, 63, was on the flight with her partner, 52 year-old William Russell from Stourbridge in the Midlands.
“There was a lot of noise coming from underneath, a loud banging sound.
“But nobody seemed to be sure what was wrong. Then as we were about come down he changed his mind and went straight back up.
“He obviously wanted to make sure all the emergency services were there and safety procedures in
place. It was quite unsettling.
“Some people were screaming and a couple looked like they were in tears. All the staff were superb though in trying to keep everyone calm.
“And obviously they did an excellent job getting us landed safely."
Eye witnesses watched the Jet2.com flight LS804 from Barcelona fly over Manchester spewing smoke and flames from its engine - which was ‘banging and popping’.
It’s understood the bird had been sucked into the aircraft’s turbine, possibly damaging the carbonfibre fan blades. On board and during landing, the jet’s 144 passengers felt the impact as ‘unusual vibrations’ and saw a ‘popping flame’ on the wing.
As they circled over the airport, passengers were instructed by flight attendants applied the emergency drill to adopt the ‘brace’ position as they landed to be met by fire crews.
Newly-engaged couple Paul Worley and Helen Ellis were also among the passengers left shaken but unharmed.
Paul, 28, from Lytham, said “There was a banging noise as we came down, not like an explosion, but a repetitive noise, and my girlfriend saw a popping flame out of the left wing.”
“Cabin crew staff shouted ‘brace, brace, brace’ at us. The worst thing they said was ‘we don’t know what’s happening’.
“People were crying, it was horrible - there were kids on board. We didn’t know what was happening - they just told us to brace.
Fellow passenger Helen Ellis tweeted: “Most terrifying experience of my life. Never want to hear ‘brace,brace, brace’ ever again!”
Another took to Twitter to say: “Survived an emergency landing...Just late but alive.”
A source at Manchester Airport confirmed the incident was a bird strike.
He said: “The bird was sucked into the engine, instead of being blown out, and that’s what caused it to backfire.
“They do a standard procedure, called a go around, where the plane circles back round and comes in again to land.
“It landed and then it was escorted back by the fire crew.”
The incident caused turmoil on the ground as well as on-board.
Jonathan Jackson, 32, from Rochdale, captured the plane on camera.
He said: “I just heard these huge loud bangs. I went outside and saw the plane and then saw flames coming from the right side engine.
“The noise was unbelievable. I thought it was coming down. I’ve been on planes when there has been turbulence but never anything like that.
“It was so loud and I can not imagine what it was like for the people on board.”
A man from Cheadle said he had seen the plane shooting spouts of flame and had heard loud noises.
He said: “It was very loud and we saw a plane and it sounded like it was back firing.”
Another from Stockport who had been walking his dog added: “It was not making normal noises - it was banging - it reminded me of the time I witnessed a Thomas Cook plane with a bird strike so I thought it was that again.”
A witness from Stretford added: “I was in the back garden when I heard a loud pulsating banging noise and then I saw the 737, it definitely looked like engine difficulty.”
A Jet2.com spokeswoman refused to confirm the incident was a bird strike, but said: “Flight LS804 from Barcelona did call for assistance on approach into Manchester as a precautionary measure due to a technical indication. The aircraft landed and all passengers have disembarked safely.”
A Manchester Airport spokesman added: “A Jet2 aircraft travelling from Barcelona landed safely with 144 passengers on board. Passengers disembarked the aircraft as normal. Anyone wanting further information should contact the airline.”
Sources: CNS: MEN, PA, BBC, MNA, Desk Research
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