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Flight returns to Hongqiao after bird hit engine

A CHINA Eastern Airlines returned to local Hongqiao Airport yesterday evening minutes after take-off as a bird hit its engine. None was injured in the incident.

The MU5547 flight, bound for Yantai City in eastern China's Shandong Province, took off at 7:25pm.

Passengers reported to the cabin crew they heard abnormal mechanical noises about 5 to 6 minutes later when the plane was flying about 1,500 meters above the ground.

"We thought at first it was because the undercarriage was drawing back but soon we smelled something was burning," a passenger, Ren, reportedly told, a local news portal website.

"So we sent for the air hostesses to check. They couldn't figure out the source of the smell and notified the flight captain immediately," he said.

The captain ordered an immediate return.

The ground crew later found the right engine was hit by a bird. It had blood stains on it with a dent.

The passengers were arranged to fly again with a new plane. The hit plane is being re-appraised before it is proven mechanically intact to return to service.


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