Ryanair flight FR3445 declared an emergency on 1 April, after striking a bird shortly after take off from Manchester. The passenger plane heading to Palma de Mallorca in Spain, reportedly circled over Rochdale for nearly an hour after taking off shortly after 5pm local time, before safely landing back in Manchester around 7pm.
"This flight from Manchester to Palma returned to Manchester shortly after take-off following a minor bird strike," said a Ryanair spokesman. "The aircraft landed normally and the flight to Palma will operate as soon as possible. Ryanair apologised to affected customers for any inconvenience caused."
According to reports on social media, the plane was dumping fuel and some eyewitnesses believed there was engine trouble. "I live under the flight path and I could see something protruding from the engine on the right-hand side, that you can't see on the left-hand side," Patrick Kenny, from Heywood told The Manchester Evening News.
Flight tracking website Airlive.net showed the holding pattern the plane took to burn fuel such that it could land again.
Earlier in March, an EgyptAir flight heading into Heathrow from Cairo, Egypt, was struck by a bird, leaving the passenger plane nose severely damaged with bloodstains. The aircraft had 71 passengers on board and despite the incident, the plane landed safely at the airport. Amir Hashim, a Senior Procurement Specialist at Egyptair took to his Facebook to post images of the damaged plane that revealed a huge hole in the passenger plane's nose.The plane was reportedly grounded for 21 hours while a replacement nose was searched for and located.