ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) - A New York-bound Turkish Airlines plane was forced to return to Istanbul airport twice Monday due to technical problems, an airport official said.
The plane landed both times without incident and the passengers were flown to New York on a different aircraft, said Mehmet Can of the departures control center.
Can said the plane returned shortly after its first take off due to a technical problem. After that problem was fixed, it took off again and flew for about one hour before returning to Istanbul's airport.
Can gave no details on the technical problems that the plane encountered. Ayhan Metin, another official at the departures control center, said the problems were not related to the millennium bug.
The Anatolia news agency said a failure affected the front wheel-carriage of the aircraft. It also reported that the same Airbus 340 was forced to make an emergency landing on Saturday after colliding with a flock of seagulls, knocking out two of the plane's four engines.
Officials could not confirm the Anatolia report. Turkish Airlines officials were unavailable for comment.