Plane grounded after part of wing falls off mid-flight
More than 60 passengers had to be flown back to London City Airport after part of the plane's wing fell off shortly after it took off
A plane carrying more than 60 people had to turn back after take-off because part of its wing fell off mid-flight.
The pilot had to abort the CityJet flight from London City Airport to Florence, and circle the Thames Estuary before landing again at the airport with a damaged wing.
After take-off at about 7.25am today, passengers heard a loud bang and a section of the left wing, about six foot long, detached from the plane.
Cole Moreton was on board the flight and described the confusion as passengers told cabin crew, who appeared to alert the pilot.
The bang made people jump and was alarming then we sat there thinking this isn't right, surely?” he said.
“Does the pilot know? But we didn't appear to be crashing. So there was a tense few minutes while we circled and waited for an announcement.
“Relief to get back on the ground, seriousness sunk in when we saw emergency services scrambled and lights flashing.”
Emergency services were called to the Avro RJ85 plane once it landed on the runway. Passengers said the wing and part of the aircraft looked badly burned.
The aircraft has been designed for shorter runways and there are currently 23 in operation, according to Cityjet.
A replacement plane was found and the flight took off about an hour later from London City Airport for Florence.
A spokeswoman for CityJet 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.
"Air Traffic Control were notified and the aircraft returned making a normal approach and landing. "
An internal investigation into what caused the problem is due to take place and CityJet said it was hopeful the plane could fly again today if two broken rods could be replaced.