RANGOON — An Air KBZ flight en route to Kengtung, Shan State was forced to land after hitting a flock of birds shortly after takeoff on Sunday, according to Rangoon Division police.
The windbreaker of Airbus ATR 72 turboprop airliner, operating on route K7 822, collided with the birds 914 meters (3000 feet) above Bago and was forced to return to Rangoon International Airport.
Air KBZ Flight 822 was carrying five crewmembers and 23 passengers. There was no damage to the plane or injuries reported amongst those aboard. As a safety precaution, the airline moved the passengers to a separate plane and resumed service on the same day.
Myat Thu, general manager of Air KBZ, said that although the incident was not dangerous, the plane returned to Rangoon Airport as per the airline’s standard safety procedures.
“We changed the plane and left again. When the Airbus was checked, no damage was found.”
The incident is the second time in a week that a plane has collided with birdlife near Rangoon. On Wednesday, a Myanmar Airways International (MAI) from Singapore suffered slight damage after a bird punctured the plane’s nosecone shortly before landing in Rangoon. The MAI flight was also above Bago, when the collision occurred, about 305 meters (1000 feet) above Flight 822’s collision on Sunday.
Thein Aung, second chair of the Myanmar Bird and Nature Society, said that such incidents are nothing out of the ordinary in many other countries.
“This is just a coincidence. It’s not from migratory birds. Incidents like these are common in other countries, they just rarely happen in Myanmar,” he said.