A Srilankan flight which left for Dubai from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) yesterday had to return to the airport after one of its engines was damaged by a bird strike, the airport duty manager said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror the duty manager said the passenger flight UL-225, an A-330 Airbus, was forced to return to BIA after flying for two hours.
The flight departed at 6.40 pm and returned at 8.11 pm last night after the incident. The Airbus A-330 is a medium to long-range wide-bodied twin-engine aircraft. "When the flight landed, there were 268 passengers and 12 crew members on board.
When the bird struck the aircraft's engine on the left-side wing, the engine suffered damage while the flight was in the Indian airspace.
However, the pilot had managed to land the Airbus A-330 safely at BIA," the duty manager said. Later, the passengers were transferred to another flight and proceeded to Dubai at 11.15 pm.
The aircraft with the damaged engine was sent for repairs, the duty manager added. Bird strikes on aircraft are rare but common in the aviation industry but causes lesser harm when compared to drones striking aircraft, which is more threatening and dangerous to the industry and air passenger transportation, he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and T.K.G. Kapila)