Passengers watch in terror as part of a wing falls away after take-offYouTube

When you have asked for a window seat this is not the view most of us want to see - part of a plane's wing hanging off.

But for poor passengers on board the Avro RJ85 aircraft to Florence, this was the unwelcome sight that greeted them after hearing a loud bang following take-off.

Telegraph journalist Cole Moreton captured the scary footage of the CityJet airliner's wing falling off.

CityJet said the plane was up to 3,000 feet in the air when the wing began to fragment.

However, none of the 61 passengers on board the flight were injured.

Moreton said: "On take-off there was a strange noise then a bang and six-foot plus section of the left wing that looked like [it] suddenly came loose and hung down, flapping in the jetstream.

"It seemed hydraulic pistons had snapped as they were flapping too. Passengers were alarmed and told the cabin staff, who appeared to inform the captain."

The plane circled the Thames estuary before landing back at London City Airport.

A CityJet spokesman said: "The WX 281 flight had just taken off from London City Airport on its way to Florence when the cover of the operating mechanism on the wing became partially detached.

"The crew followed their standard procedures and, after a discussion with CityJet Maintenance Control, decided to return to London City Airport.

"Air Traffic Control were notified and the aircraft returned making a normal approach and landing."

Passengers were re-directed on another aircraft within two hours of the delay.