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Birdstrike causes AirAsia flight midair emergency

By: AFP

An AirAsia flight to Malaysia was forced to return to Australia shortly after take-off following a suspected bird strike, the carrier said Tuesday, the second incident involving the airline in the country in two weeks.

Passengers said the plane shook and bangs came from the right engine of AirAsia X flight D7 207 following its departure from Australia’s Gold Coast to Kuala Lumpur late Monday.

The flight carrying 345 passengers and 14 crew was diverted to Brisbane airport just north of the eastern city and landed safely, the Malaysian carrier said.

“Two bird remains were found on the runway,” the low-cost carrier said in a statement, adding that the starboard engine had experienced a “suspected bird strike”.

The Malaysian airline said it was arranging a special flight to take the passengers to Kuala Lumpur.

Passenger Calvin Boon said he saw flames going through the engine. “The whole engine blown and flame went through it all like (video game) Resident Evil man really, Resident Evil,” the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted him as saying.

Another AirAsia flight from Perth to Kuala Lumpur experienced technical issues about 90 minutes into the journey on Sunday and was forced back to Australia, with one passenger saying the plane was “shaking like a washing machine”.

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