Virgin Plane Catches Fire En Route to Melbourne


Flames seen coming from Virgin aircraft over Queenstown
Flames seen coming from Virgin aircraft over Queenstown
A Virgin aircraft departing Queenstown has caught fire with 73 passengers on board. 

Witnesses reported seeing fire coming from the engine of an aircraft flying over Queenstown, accompanied by “loud bangs.”

The aircraft was diverted to Invercargill Airport, where it has just made an emergency landing with “no visible flames.”

According to the Lakes Weekly Bulletin, the plane experienced engine trouble during takeoff from Queenstown Airport.

Members of the public reported seeing flames coming from one of the engines and heard large bangs, as the Virgin Airlines VA148 flight to Melbourne took off over the Shotover Delta from the airport about 6pm.

Reports say the fire may have been caused by bird strike.

What is bird strike?

A bird strike occurs when a bird collides with an aircraft, which can happen during takeoff, landing, or in-flight.

These incidents pose significant risks as they can damage the aircraft’s engines, windshields, or other critical components. Bird strikes can lead to engine failure, loss of thrust, or other mechanical issues, sometimes necessitating emergency landings.

Airports implement various wildlife management strategies to minimise the risk of bird strikes, including habitat modification, bird-scaring techniques, and radar systems to detect and track bird activity.


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