The flight, bound for Spain, elected to return to Dublin over concerns that it may have hit two hares upon takeoff. (iStock)
An Aer Lingus flight bound for Spain returned to its origin city of Dublin on Thursday over fears that the aircraft may have struck two hares, or sucked one into the engine, upon takeoff.
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The crew of Aer Lingus Flight EI-582 originally informed air traffic control of their concerns shortly after the plane took to the skies. Soon afterward, another flight’s crew noted a carcass on the runway, prompting officials to deploy airport personnel to check for carcasses, the Irish Sun reported.
About a half-hour in, the flight crew opted not to continue to their destination in Malaga, and instead return to Ireland's capital.
Ground crews reportedly found only one hare carcass, leading to speculation that another had been sucked into the engine. According to the Sun, the flight crew may have even reported recording vibrations that could have been the engine taking in the hare.
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“The aircraft turned back less than an hour into the flight, due to a technical issue, and landed safely at Dublin at 9.52 a.m.,” an airline spokesperson confirmed in a statement. “Passengers disembarked normally and were flown to Malaga on a replacement aircraft.”
The aircraft was later brought for inspection at the Dublin airport.