An airline has apologised to passengers after their flight was aborted due to a collision with a bird.
The bird strike occurred shortly after Loganair flight LM438 took off from Sumburgh Airport en route to Glasgow on Friday evening.
The plane was forced to return to the tarmac and its 40 passengers had no choice but to wait until the next morning for an alternative flight.
A Loganair spokesman said: “We arranged hotel accommodation overnight and a replacement flight at the earliest possible opportunity, and we’d like to offer our sincere apologies for this disruption to our customers’ journeys.”
The pilots became aware of the impact of the bird strike – abnormal activity in the left-hand engine – as the Saab 2000 aircraft was climbing at 1,500 feet.
Two fire engines were called to the airport as the pilots prepared to return, but they were not needed as the landing went smoothly.
Passengers were offered an overnight hotel stay, however, as the airport was closing.
They boarded an alternative flight on another aircraft at 9am on Saturday morning, while the original plane was removed from service for examination.
A Loganair spokesman said: “Safety is always our first priority, and as always, our pilots responded immediately and appropriately to the warning that they received on the flightdeck following the bird strike – an eventuality for which every pilot is extensively trained.
“The aircraft made a normal landing back at Sumburgh and our customers were able to disembark as they normally would.
“We arranged hotel accommodation overnight and a replacement flight at the earliest possible opportunity, and we’d like to offer our sincere apologies for this disruption to our customers’ journeys.”
Between 2012-2016, there were 8,011 confirmed bird strikes in the UK, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
During the same period there were 3,839 unconfirmed strikes (instances where there is no physical evidence, e.g. damage to the aircraft, or blood smears).