A fly-in, fly-out charter plane was forced to turn back to Perth Airport this afternoon due to a technical issue with a fuel vent.

A witness told 6PR he saw “fuel or vapour” streaming out of the aircraft moments after take-off.

The charter flight was operated by Qantas subsidiary Network Aviation and destined for the Sandfire Resources operated DeGrussa copper-gold mine near Meekatharra.

A Qantas spokesman said the plane did not land under emergency conditions and affected passengers would soon depart on a replacement aircraft.

“There was an issue with the fuel and a vent,” he said. “Engineers are now examining that.”

A Perth Airport spokeswoman said its emergency response unit was placed on stand-by but stood down after the flight landed safely.

The West Australian

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