May 7, 2009
A Pacific Blue Embraer ERJ-190, registration VH-ZPM performing an evaluation flight from Hamilton to Palmerston North (New Zealand), was on its takeoff roll at Hamilton, when a flock of plovers hit the right hand engine. The crew rejected takeoff and brought the airplane to safe stop, then taxied back to the apron.
Several dead plovers were recovered from the runway.
The airline reported, that three fan blades of the right hand engine were damaged in the incident. Spare parts were brought in and the engine repaired, so that the aiplane could continue its evaluation schedule the following day, however without the trip to Palmerston.
Pacific Blue is based in Australia, it’s NZ operations however is based in Christchurch and is preparing to set a domestic route network up within New Zealand.