26 Jan 2011

Plane makes emergency landing at Dunedin airport

8:44 pm on 26 January 2011

An Air New Zealand plane was forced to turn back to Dunedin after a bird flew into an engine.

Flight NZ474 carrying 115 passengers took off about 4.50pm and was en route to Wellington when the incident occurred on Wednesday.

The Boeing 737 had to turn back 20 minutes after take-off and landed safely at Dunedin Airport.

Frequent flyer Barry Neale was seated above an engine pod and says he knew something was wrong when the plane began to vibrate after take-off.

Passengers were moved to a later flight.

Air New Zealand says the affected plane is being inspected and will be back in service on Thursday morning.