Belfast Telegraph

Leonardo in plane emergency

A passenger jet carrying actor Leonardo DiCaprio and more than 200 other people turned back and made an emergency landing after an engine failed, it has emerged.

The drama happened as the Boeing 767 took off from New York on Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Moscow-bound Delta Flight 30 had just taken off from New York's John F Kennedy Airport when other pilots reported seeing a flash in one engine.

The twin-engine Boeing flew out over the Atlantic ocean, dumped part of its fuel and returned safely to the airport.

Crews were putting a new engine on the airliner and planned to return it to service, Delta spokesman Anthony Black said on Tuesday.

Such engine failures have drawn special attention from safety chiefs since January 2009, when a US Airways jet lost both engines and landed in the Hudson River after hitting a formation of birds.

But FAA investigators who took an initial look at the engine that failed on Sunday said "there was no indication of feathers or anything that would indicate a bird strike", FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said.

Leonardo, who was travelling to St Petersburg, Russia, to attend a conference on protecting tigers, praised the pilot and flight crew for safely landing the plane, his publicist said.

Delta thanked Leonardo, who was nominated for an Oscar for portraying airman Howard Hughes in the 2004 film The Aviator, for the acknowledgement.

"From one aviator to another, thanks for acknowledging our crews' professionalism and focus on safety," Delta said on Twitter.

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