7 Mar 2006

Bird strike proves costly for Fiji national airline

9:28 am on 7 March 2006

A bird strike on an engine as a large passenger jet took off from Nadi for Melbourne has cost Fiji's national airline more than US$600,000.

A statement from Air Pacific says the Boeing 767 with 130 passengers on board was forced to land at Nadi again just 15 minutes later.

Eight fan blades in the engine were found to be damaged by the bird which is believed to have been a large hawk.

Replacement fan blades had to be flown in from Australia before the engine could be repaired and rebalanced.

The bird strike disrupted flights to Melbourne, Auckland and Brisbane with more than 1,500 passengers affected.