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'Is this it?' Passengers describe tense landing after Edmonton-bound flight strikes geese
An Edmonton-bound Swoop flight was forced to make an emergency landing after it struck a bird.
Officials at Abbotsford Airport, about 55 kilometres east of Vancouver, reported that an aircraft struck a bird after taking off.
The plane landed safely before 9 a.m. PT Tuesday.
“Passengers have been offloaded into the terminal safely,” the airport tweeted. “Updates will be available in the coming hours.”
Swoop later confirmed Flight W0312 landed safely in Abbotsford “due to a bird strike after departure.”
Flight W0312 showed as “delayed” on Swoop’s website.
Passengers on the plane said they heard a loud thud followed by flames coming from an engine immediately after taking off.
"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 couldn’t find one so I just started yelling 'There’s fire, fire, fire right engine, fire right engine!'"
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.
"It was very overwhelming, you don't expect it," said Abu-Ghanem. "I started texting my mom saying 'Something's wrong with the airplane. I love you.'"
Passenger Bruce Mason had a similar reaction and praised the captain and crew for their calm response.
"I've been on a plane before where the tire blew out when it was on take-off. That's pretty benign compared to this," he said. "There's smoke, there's fire and you think 'Well, is this it?'"
Passenger Donna-Lee Rayner said she and others were waiting at the Abbotsford Airport while maintenance crews checked out the plane.
According to the Abbotsford Airport's website, the flight was delayed until 8 p.m. PT.
There were no reported injuries.
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.