Published on : Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Flight TOM6248, bound for Tenerife, was struck by a seagull shortly after taking off at 08:21 GMT.
Passengers described hearing a loud thud from the left engine and felt the plane vibrating.
The passengers were taken off the plane and put on a replacement flight to Tenerife which departed shortly before 13:00.
Passenger Eric Jackson said: “There was a loud thud and noticeable vibrations. They decided there would be more engineers and help available at Gatwick so we diverted.
“Everybody was pretty calm. People were more worried when we landed at Gatwick because it was a full-on emergency landing – they chased us down the runway with 12 fire engines so that was a little bit nerve-wracking.
“The pilot came on with the remnants of the bird and showed it to us. There wasn’t an awful lot left of it. It had shattered three of the blades so the engine was irreparable.”
A Thomson Airways spokeswoman said: “We would like to reassure customers that issues of this nature are very rare.”
Tags: Thomson Airways