An El Al Israel airlines airplane leaving from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport for South Africa Friday morning, was forced to turn around after a bird was caught in one of the jet’s engines, Israel’s Channel 2 reported, citing passengers on the flight and El Al.
The passengers said they heard an abrupt noise, as if the plane had been hit by something, and witnessed smoke rising from its wing.
Pilots recognized the problem, turned around and landed an hour later back at Ben Gurion.
“Due to a bird hitting the engine, the plane was forced to return to Israel, and the flight crew followed standard protocol,” El Al said in a statement.
Travelers were rerouted via another flight to their destination, Channel 2 said.