Plane makes emergency landing after circling around Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 15:04 19 August 2018
Scared passengers endured an hour of uncertainty when their flight was forced to circle around Norfolk following a birdstrike.
Emergency services were called to Norwich Airport after reports came in of the circling plane, and installed road blocks nearby.
The flight from Norwich to Dalaman, Turkey, took off at 7.49pm and was circling over Norfolk between Dereham and Wroxham since shortly after take off until around 9pm.
Passengers were told they had suffered a bird strike, an aviation term for being hit by a bird.
It was then diverted to Brussels Airport where it landed around 9.45pm, before taking off again for Turkey.
A fire service spokesman said eight crews were called to the scene.
A passenger, who did not want to be named, was on the Freebird Airlines flight.
He said: “It was very unclear and difficult to understand the pilot but he said we hit two things and had to return to Norwich.
“We circled for ages and then ended up in Brussels!
“It was pretty scary, as we were going up and down and had a complete lack of information.”
The passenger said emergency services were lining the runway at Brussels Airport, but that the landing was “not too bad”.
Fellow passenger Michelle Keohane was on the flight with her partner and said “communication was very poor”.
“The plane was at one point going up and down very erratic and even flew over the coastline near Great Yarmouth at quite a low altitude,” she said.
She added: “I myself did not want to stay on the flight, but we were not given any options to get off.”
Charlie Platt, a private pilot, was also on board.
He said: “The captain was clearly not happy with the situation and stayed airborne to get rid of his excess fuel.
“Then after testing the ailerons and boosting the engine in a preparation to land at Norwich the pilot made the professional choice to proceed to a bigger airfield. Brussels was full of fire crews and the airport appeared closed for us on arrival.
“I think more communication would have been a help but at the same time you don’t want to scare people.”
TUI, who operate Freebird Airlines were contacted for comment.