4 Jul 2014

Bird strike keeps Airbus on runway

10:42 am on 4 July 2014

An Air New Zealand plane had to make an emergency stop as birds hit the plane during take off from Auckland International Airport.

The bird strike happened as the Airbus A320, bound for Tonga, was speeding along the runway about 8.45am but had not left the ground.

An airline spokeswoman said the pilots opted to aborted the take-off as a precaution.

Fire Service spokeswoman Nicole Bernard said airport rescue and fire crews checked the plane for hotspots using thermal imaging equipment but the plane was deemed safe.

She said crews then followed the plane to the gates, where passengers disembarked.