Canadian ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop has apologized to passengers and is applauding its captain and crew following some tense moments after a flight struck several geese on takeoff in Canada on Tuesday.
The flight was traveling from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Edmonton, Alberta with 176 passengers on board when it was forced to make an emergency landing just minutes after takeoff.
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The Boeing 737 landed safely without incident and no injuries were reported. However, passengers described a scary scene inside the cabin.
“Basically as the aircraft was rolling down the runway, it felt like we hit a bump,” passenger Fadhl Abu-Ghanem told CTV News. “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!'”
Some passengers said they were so fearful they began writing goodbye messages on their phones. “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,” passenger Bruce Mason told CTV.
“There’s smoke, there’s fire and you think, ‘Well, is this it?'”
The aircraft underwent inspection and maintenance and was expected to return to service Tuesday night. The WestJet subsidiary brought in another aircraft to operate the recovery flight.
Final Update: Thank you to our pilots and cabin crew for ensuring the safety of our travellers during yesterday’s bird strike. All impacted travellers have been reaccomodated and we thank you for your patience. For additional information please visit https://t.co/BY9QlINsGs pic.twitter.com/XRsU6oQ2uH
— FlySwoop (@FlySwoop) September 11, 2019