The aircraft was circling above Kent at one point this afternoon

A British Airways jumbo jet was forced to turn back to Heathrow today, after residents on the flight path said they heard a “loud bang”.

Residents in Sevenoaks, Kent, heard the noise, Kent Online reported, as well as people in Dunton Green and Biggin Hill.

The Boeing 747 - BA107 bound for Dubai departed from Heathrow at around 1pm today.

But at one point today was circling over Kent, as the crew decided to turn back to Heathrow.

It is understood the crew had had a problem retracting the undercarriage of the passenger plane.

Tony Southgate, who lives near Halstead, tweeted that the noise the aircraft made was “loud and long”.

“It was loud enough to cause my dog to panic and made me look outside,” he added.

An airliner comes in to land at Heathrow Airport


One of the passengers, James Dempsey, tweeted: “Just had a lovely 1hr flight from Heathrow to Heathrow on board the new style BA 747-400 with fixed landing gear.”

He said that he had not heard the bang on board and there appeared to be “no issue other than gear wouldn't retract”.

A BA spokeswoman said: “The aircraft landed safely back at Heathrow after a technical problem. We're sorry for the delay to our customers' journey. They will soon be on another aircraft and on their way to Dubai.”

Additional reporting by PA