A Qatar Airways passenger plane, Airbus 330, bound for Doha and piloted by a Ghanaian, Capt. Albert Barney Abuga, made an emergency landing at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport due to an engine fire believed to have been caused by a bird.
All passengers and crew disembarked as normal.
“Qatar Airways can confirm that today’s QR240 from Istanbul Atatürk airport to Doha has returned to Istanbul and has landed safely,” the Gulf airlines said in a statement.
Aviation officials told AFP the incident, which happened on August 18, was caused by a suspected bird strike that caused one of its engines to catch fire.
The spokeswoman could not confirm a report by CNN that one of the plane’s engines caught fire.
“The pilot followed all proper safety procedures”, Qatar Airways said.
It said the plane, an Airbus, was carrying 298 passengers and 14 crew.
Qatar Airways is one of the biggest carriers in the Middle East.
The pilot who achieved this feat, Capt. Abuga, is a Ghanaian pilot, a product of St. Augustine’s College from 1975 to 1977, coming from St. John’s Secondary School where he had his O’ level.
He was trained and flew with Ghana Airways and left to join Singapore Airlines and on to other airlines. He has over 30 years’ experience as a pilot.