Eurowings Airbus A320 Diverts Following Bird Strike On Departure

A Eurowings A320 en route from Bremen in Germany to Palma Mallorca Spain has had to divert to Hanover after hitting several birds. The plane landed safely and passengers were able to continue to their holiday destinations after a replacement A319 was flown in.

Eurowings, Airbus A320, Heraklion
A Eurowings Airbus A320 hit several birds after takeoff. Photo: Eurowings

What are the details?

A Eurowings Airbus A320-200, with the tailnumber OE-IQA was beginning its own small merry trip from Bremen to sunny Palma Mallorca when it ‘ingested a number of birds’, according to The Aviation Herald.

The route of the aircraft. Photo: Flight Radar 24

The aircraft, on flight EW 6829, was forced to continue climbing to 3,000 feet before being able to shut down the affected engine. The report has said that the crew noticed ‘severe vibrations’ and decided to divert to a nearby airport of Hanover. With permission granted they began the journey south.

They climbed to 6,000 feet to ensure safe passage before performing multiple loops around the city burning fuel. They were then able to land safely. In total the aircraft was in the air for around 45 minutes.

The aircraft was able to taxi to the terminal and disembark passengers. The aircraft was then moved to an area where its engines could be inspected. As of the time of publishing this story, the aircraft is still undergoing maintenance. We can’t help but feel sympathetic for the team that has to remove any remaining ‘animal debris’ from the engines.

The passengers were taken care of by the airline at the airport, before being put in a replacement A319 aircraft (tail number OE-LYU for those interested) six hours later. Interestingly, the replacement aircraft was in Munster nearby. It flew the replacement service and then had to fly back empty to Munster to pick up passengers for a normal trip to Palma Mallorca!

Flight Radar
The flight schedule of the replacement A319. Empty flights to move between boarding destinations not included. Photo: Flight Radar 24

And better yet, it wasn’t even the first time the aircraft had been either to Hannover nor Palma Mallorca that day.

Why did the plane go to Hannover?

One question that does pop up is why the aircraft headed south to Hannover instead of looping around to land at Bremen.

One possibility that has been offered is the aircrew wanted to see how badly the engine had been affected and during that time moved within range of the southern airport. However, looking at Flight Radar’s map you can distinctly see the point that the aircraft turned south and they were much closer to Bremen.

Another is that Hannover was much better equipment for this emergency. Therefore, as the aircraft was still able to fly, the crew requested to make their emergency landing there. Perhaps the runway was longer or held better maintenance facilities. Or it was the airport nominated for an unscheduled landing in their approved flight plan.

Simple Flying had this reply from the airline:

On 19 October 2019 the flight EW6829 from BRE-PMI diverted to HAJ due to a bird strike.

“This decision was made by the captain because of better maintenance resources at Hanover Airport, where the aircraft was routinely inspected. There was no security risk at any time. Passengers and Crew landed safely.”

What do you think of this story? Did Eurowings do the right thing? Let us know in the comments.