Air New Zealand flight forced to turn back after 'object' hit plane during departure

An Air New Zealand flight was forced to turn back after pilots on board believed they had hit "an object" on departure.

The tail end of an Air New Zealand plane. Source: Air New Zealand

An Air New Zealand spokesperson said flight NZ5759 to Dunedin was forced to return to Christchurch "as a precaution".

"The pilots believed a wheel in the main landing gear had made contact with an object on departure," the spokesperson said.

"The aircraft made a normal landing at 8pm and will be inspected by engineers."

People who were travelling on the flight have been accommodated with alternative services today and those who required accommodation were provided hotel rooms.