'Bird strike' causes Tigerair flight from Hong Kong to Singapore to be diverted back

A Tigerair flight (file picture) from Hong Kong to Singapore was turned back before take-off after the plane's crew noticed cracks in the aircraft's windscreen. PHOTO: ST FILE

Tigerair flight TR2067 had departed Hong Kong International Airport for Singapore on Saturday (Nov 5) at 7pm when it was diverted back shortly after take-off.

The pilots had discovered that the windscreen on one of the sides of the cockpit had suffered cracks, reported Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News.

There were 156 passengers onboard. The pilots immediately informed the airport traffic controllers and emergency vehicles were placed on standby.

The plane landed safely back at the airport, with no reported injuries to anyone onboard.

It is understood that a bird had flown into the plane's windscreen of the cockpit, causing cracks to appear which the flight crew noticed.

After the incident, some of the passengers were scheduled instead for the 9.35pm Tigerair flight to Singapore. Other passengers had to wait for the next flight on Sunday instead.

When contacted by Shin Min, a Tigerair spokesman said the flight was "diverted back to Hong Kong due to a cracked windscreen caused by a bird strike". He added that the flight "returned to Hong Kong for aircraft repairs".

"There were 156 guests on board and arrangements have been made for all guests on subsequent Tigerair flights scheduled on 5-6 November into Singapore. Where required, hotel arrangements were made for guests as well," Tigerair said.

According to Shin Min, while "bird strikes" are not common, they are most likely to occur when planes are taking off or landing.

The aviation industry terms these incidents as "bird strikes", where a plane at high speed collides with a bird. Such incidents rarely happen above 760m.

Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily reported that the Hong Kong International Airport air traffic control received information of the incident at 7.30pm on Saturday.

The plane landed safely at 8.37pm, and airport operations were not affected.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.