A British Airways flight has been held on the runway for two hours after the aircraft was apparently “damaged” by a traffic cone.
Passengers on board the flight from Aberdeen to London on Thursday evening were told the plane could not take off after a rogue traffic cone became wedged beneath the aircraft.
Engineers said they could not inspect the damage until all passengers and their luggage disembarked and reduced the weight of the aeroplane.
Joe Churcher, whose girlfriend was on the flight, live-tweeted the incident and reported the pilot had “never seen anything like it”.
BA flight grounded - by a traffic cone! Weight of passengers and luggage apparently dropped plane onto misplaced cone which damaged engine,— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
BA1315 was due to leave Aberdeen for Heathrow at 19:25. Pilot tells passengers - still on board - he's never seen anything like it.— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
Pilot has bee told by engineer that they may have to get all passengers and luggage off so they can remove the cone and assess the damage...— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
Passengers and luggage being taken off BA plane to try to unimpale it from traffic cone. Pilot and crew say never seen anything like it...— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
This is plane that was impaled by cone (now removed). Passengers have disembarked. No info on whether will still fly pic.twitter.com/0jfRFIg6DS— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
A passenger on the flight, Claire Buckley, said the captain had “sounded genuinely stunned” that it could have happened as he updated them on the situation.
They were eventually told the “skin” of the aircraft had not been pierced and the dent in the cone had “popped back out” as the weight of the aeroplane was removed.
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Passengers were told the extra weight pushed the fuselage down onto it.
The flight was later cleared for takeover - but the airport’s ground crew were “taking no chances” and a staff member was spotted “standing guard” over the cone as passengers got back on the plane.
Ground staff taking no chances this time - cones under close guard as passengers get back on the plane. pic.twitter.com/ROoo714Yp2— Joe Churcher (@JoeChurcher) January 14, 2016
The aeroplane landed safely in London without further incident.
A spokeswoman for British Airways said: "The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.
"Our highly-trained engineers inspected the aircraft before it continued on its journey.
"We are sorry for the delay to customers' travel plans."
Additional reporting by PAReuse content