A Lufthansa passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing early Tuesday, minutes after taking off from Beirut’s airport after its left engine devoured a flock of birds.
Sources at the airport said that the Airbus A321 safely landed after the pilot reported an engine failure due to a bird strike three minutes after its 4:48 a.m. departure.
The plane, which was carrying 148 passengers, was flying over the sea at the time of the incident.
The pilot returned to the airport and landed the aircraft at 5:04 a.m.
Daniel al-Haiby, director general of Lebanon’s Civil Aviation Organization, said that bird strikes are common during this time of the year due to the increase in bird migration.
Haiby said the airport is equipped with devices that keep birds out of the area, but those flying at high altitudes are not affected by the device.
The above video was shot from inside the aircraft and clearly shows the fire from the engine as the birds hit.