Aviation

Bird strike and mid-air phone fight cause Qantas flight groundings

A Qantas flight was forced to return to Perth minutes after take off, following an untimely bird strike with, possibly, an eagle.

Shortly after leaving Perth Airport for Melbourne, a Qantas A330 was forced to return to Perth after striking a bird, with reports it was an eagle.

Flight QF772 was airborne for little over 15 minutes after pilots observed a bird strike the outside casing of an engine, during the aircraft’s lift-off. A Qantas spokesperson told Travel Weekly there had been damage to the engine cowling.

Bird strikes are not uncommon, and remain an ongoing issue for Australian airports.

In 2017, a Virgin Australia plane headed for Brisbane flew straight into an eagle carrying a rabbit in its talons.

In a separate incident, QantasLink flight QF1421 to Canberra was forced to return to Sydney after an argument between two passengers occurred on board over the use of a mobile phone.

The Australian reported that one passenger took issue with a fellow passenger who was sending a text message on his phone while the aircraft – thought to be a Dash 8 (the model pictured) – was taxiing for take-off from Sydney just after 2:40pm.

The argument reportedly escalated during the course of the flight and the captain made the decision to return to Sydney Airport, where police met the plane after it reached its gate. Two men were reportedly escorted from the aircraft and are being questioned.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to The Australian the passengers had been removed from the flight following an argument, but declined to comment further when contacted by Travel Weekly.

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