An Airbus A320 aircraft, operated by Colombia’s flag carrier Avianca, has collided with a “pyrotechnic balloon” mid-air, triggering an emergency landing after the aircraft got entangled in tinsel.
The incident unfolded above Bogota overnight. The plane, flying from Orlando, Florida to Colombia’s capital city, collided with a flying object, described by local media as a “pyrotechnic balloon.”
🚨#ÚLTIMAHORA La irresponsabilidad de unos desadaptados estuvo a punto de causar una tragedia. Hace momentos un Airbus A320 (N557AV) de Avianca impactó un globo pirotécnico cuando aproximaba a Bogotá procedente de Orlando, obligándole a aterrizar de emergencia. pic.twitter.com/cELiXagAUO
It was not immediately clear whether the balloon was carrying any actual fireworks, but it did turn out to be packed with tinsel, footage circulating online shows. Long strings of colorful plastic got wrapped around the aircraft’s tail, and some apparently got into one of its engines.The collision prompted an emergency landing, and the plane’s crew managed to safely bring the aircraft to the ground. Reports have not revealed if the aircraft sustained any damage.
Shortly before footage of the incident surfaced online, Colombia’s association of Civil Aviation urged revelers to be extra cautious during the holidays and abstain from deploying fireworks and launching hot air balloons close to airports.
#PlanNavidadDeMovilidad | Tu aporte suma a la seguridad en las operaciones aéreas del país. Recuerda que el uso y lanzamiento de globos en cercanías a los aeropuertos afecta la seguridad de las operaciones aéreas y de los viajeros. pic.twitter.com/n5fMEmIJ4q
These items lack any means of control and can travel sizable distances, especially in high winds, so there is no way of stopping one from drifting into the path of an aircraft.
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