Bird strike forces emergency landing of Zanzibar-bound plane in Mombasa

German Airline Condor flight at the Moi International Airport after it developed a engine problem following a bird strike. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
German Airline Condor flight at the Moi International Airport after it developed a engine problem following a bird strike. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG 

A plane belonging to German leisure airline Condor made an emergency landing at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, after hitting birds Tuesday morning.
Coast regional police boss Noah Mwivanda told the Business Daily that the aircraft landed after hitting the birds.
The plane was taking tourists to Zanzibar for holiday.

Moi International Airport manager Walter Agong said the plane was in transit from Frankfurt, Germany.

On board were 230 passengers and 10 crew members.
Police said the incident happened shortly after take-off from the airport.

A source said two crows crashed into the plane’s engines.

The plane landed safely at the airport and there were no injuries, Mr Mwivanda said.


“I am informed that there was a bird that struck the plane but all the passengers are safe. They are awaiting further instructions,” said Mr Mwivanda.

Condor head of communication Johannes Winter said on the runway a bird was ingested in the left engine of a Boeing 767 before take-off.

Complete stop
“The captain applied the brakes according to procedures and brought the aircraft to a complete stop. The passengers and crew are in good health.

"The aircraft is now inspected by certified technicians for any damage. In the meantime, all passengers will be taken care of and hotel rooms are provided for the night,” said Mr Winter.

He said a replacement aircraft flew Tuesday from Frankfurt to Mombasa is planned to take off Wednesday.

When the Business Daily visited the airport, the passengers were heading back to their hotels in Nyali.

A passenger who only identified himself as Morris said: “We just thank God we are okay. We are now heading to the hotel until tomorrow. I can’t wait to get there”.
“It was picking up some passengers here in Mombasa before taking off to Zanzibar,” he said.

Cases of bird strikes are increasingly being cited as the cause of emergency landings at the Mombasa airport.

In October last year, a Turkish Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after a bird was sucked into one of its engines.

The flight was bound for Istanbul from the airport and 121 passengers were affected.

The aggressive birds, which mostly scavenge at Mwakirunge dumpsite, have become a threat to the aviation industry as they also cause crashes.

The Mombasa county government has set out to address the menace.

In its county’s medium-term draft budget 2018/2019, Sh30 million has been set aside to fight the birds in five years.