'Full emergency' Air New Zealand bound for Tonga

Passengers on board an Air New Zealand plane bound for Tonga that hit birds just before take off from Auckland today are full of praise for the pilots and crew on board.

Flight NZ970 encountered a bird strike in the early stages of take-off from Auckland Airport and pilots opted to halt the take-off as a precaution, Air New Zealand said.

Passenger Mary Haddock-Staniland said the pilots and crew of the Airbus A320 were "amazing" in keeping travellers informed about the incident, which occurred just after 8.30am.

"I was s*** scared," she said.

"As we were going to take off…I'm sure the front wheel was off the ground and then we just heard a noise from the right-hand side of the aircraft, which is where the bird went into the wing…read more

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