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Toronto-bound Air Canada flight makes emergency landing in Madrid

A Toronto-bound Air Canada plane has made an emergency landing at Madrid’s international airport after pilots reported an engine problem and tire rupture shortly after takeoff.

The Boeing 767 carrying 128 passengers had been circling southeast of Adolfo Suarez-Barajas airport “to use up fuel and lighten the aircraft for landing,” the carrier said Monday morning.

The “engine issue” occurred shortly after takeoff,” according to Air Canada. “A tire also reportedly ruptured on takeoff, one of 10 on this model of aircraft.”

Ignacio Montesinos, a spokesperson for Spain’s airport operator, said the pilot radioed the tower citing an “emergency.”

“Our pilots are fully trained for this eventuality,” Air Canada said in an email.” Nonetheless, an emergency was declared in order to obtain landing priority.”

Spain’s defence ministry said an F18 fighter jet had been dispatched from a military airport near the Spanish capital to evaluate the damage done to the landing gear of Toronto-bound Flight AC837.

Request for emergency landing 30 minutes after takeoff

A spokesperson with Spain’s airport operator, AENA, told The Associated Press that the airline had requested a slot for an emergency landing some 30 minutes after takeoff.

A spokesperson for Enaire, Spain’s air navigation authority, said the plane’s landing gear did not fold up properly upon takeoff and that a piece of it may have damaged part of one of the engines. He said the pilot had estimated that the plane should be able to attempt the emergency landing around 7:30 p.m. local time (1830 GMT).

The officials were not authorized to be named in media reports.

Emergency services including firefighting trucks and ambulances were deployed at the Spanish capital’s airport.

Spain’s El Mundo newspaper’s website published audio it said featured the plane’s pilot explaining to the passengers the need to return to Madrid because a wheel had been damaged during the takeoff.

“Because we are a bit too heavy we have to get rid of fuel before being able to land,” the voice can be heard saying in Spanish.

Madrid residents posted videos online showing a plane flying unusually low over the Spanish capital’s centre and suburbs.

It was the second incident of the day at Madrid’s international airport, the busiest in the country. Earlier on Monday, the airport closed for over an hour due to the reported sighting of drones in the vicinity.

CBC

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CBC

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