An easyJet plane was forced to do a U-turn over the channel.

The plane made a sharp turn back to Gatwick this morning with up to 186 passengers onboard en route to Dalaman in Turkey.

It took off from Gatwick shortly after 8.15am, heading towards Dover and northern France as normal.

But over the channel, the plane made a 180-degree turn 30,000 feet in the air. It quickly started descending towards the Thames Estuary before circling over the sea near Hastings, at around 14,000 feet.

The Argus: The flight's routeThe flight's route (Image: ADSBexchange)

The Airbus A320 landed back at Gatwick at around 9.45am.

Passengers were told an alternative flight will take them to Turkey but it was not clear when this will be.

A spokesman for easyJet told passengers: "The plane that was scheduled for your flight today experienced a technical issue and had to return to London Gatwick Airport.

"Because the issue could not be resolved, we've decided to arrange a new plane and a new crew to fly you to your destination today. We apologise for this delay."