Flight to Samoa turns back to Auckland after 'issues'

  • 20/08/2016
(Chris Lofting)
(Chris Lofting)

An Air New Zealand flight that was forced to turn back this morning with almost 300 people on board has landed safely at Auckland International airport.

An airport spokesperson says Flight NZ296 to Apia experienced "operational issues" and turned back shortly after take-off, when pilots discovered an engineering issue.

"We believe a small amount of hydraulic fluid caused by the engineering issue dripped onto the hot brakes after the aircraft landed, causing smoke," the spokesperson said.

They said some witnesses on the ground wrongly interpreted that to be a fire.

The aircraft, which had 293 passengers aboard, landed safely back at Auckland International Airport at about 9:50am on Saturday morning.

Fire crews rushed to Auckland International Airport but weren't required. Engineers have started inspecting the aircraft.

The runway was closed for a time.