Some air travellers got quite a scare on Thursday morning while on their Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Ottawa. On their way to Ottawa, the Air Canada plane was forced to make an emergency landing after hitting a flock of birds. The plane was able to land safely and no injuries have been recorded.
Early this morning, Air Canada flight AC 324 was making a descent into Ottawa when it struck a flock of birds which damaged one of the engines. The plane was forced to emergency land at the MacDonald-Cartier International Airport at around 12:30 AM.
A Twitter user who claimed to be on the flight during that time recalls that when the birds hit the plane there was a huge bang. He also recalls that sparks could be seen coming from the engine and smoke was flooding into the cabin. The Twitter user even states that there was a loss of some electrical power during their landing.
Despite the smoke and engine loss, the plane was able to land safely. When they reached the gate at around 1:20 AM emergency response crews were waiting to help escort the 170 passengers that were on board.
Huge props to the Air Canada pilots who landed us safely with one engine after striking a flock of birds on our decent into Ottawa. It made for some anxious moments with a huge bang, sparks coming from the engine.., smoke in the cabin, and the loss of some of the electrical. 1/2— Steve Adams (@steveadamsmba) March 28, 2019
Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur told Global News that proper procedures were followed when the incident occurred and that the aircraft landed safely.
Ottawa airport authorities also stated that a situation like this is very rare. Canadian airports, especially the Ottawa airport, have a variety of safety measures that are put in place to ensure that there are no birds in the airspace that will harm engines during take-off and descent.
Some of these measures include noisemakers and a wildlife management program that includes a variety of 'birdmen' who constantly monitor the area for bird activity.
Even trained falcons are sometimes used to steer wild birds away from the area.
The Air Canada plane that was involved in this emergency landing is now receiving maintenance.