Sparrow keeps flight grounded

18:55, Sep 25 2013

A sparrow artfully flying into the cockpit of an Air New Zealand aircraft caused some disruption to the airline's flight schedules on Monday.

Marlborough District councillor Peter Jerram said he and other passengers booked to travel on an Air New Zealand flight to Blenheim at 10.45am had to wait for an hour before they were able to board their aircraft at Wellington airport.

Once they were seated, their pilot informed them they had been delayed trying to extricate a sparrow from the cockpit.

An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said yesterday the flight had been delayed by a "crewing issue".

The spokeswoman was asked to explain the disparity between a "crewing issue" and a sparrow.

"The crew on NZ2479 were delayed earlier in the day due to a bird on a different aircraft which they were due to travel on as passengers," the spokeswoman said.

Air New Zealand did not respond to questions from the Marlborough Express about how the bird came to be in the cockpit, or why it took so long to catch and release the bird outside.

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The Marlborough Express