More than 60 passengers had to be flown back to London City Airport after part of the plane's wing fell off mid-flight heading to Florence.
The pilot had to abort the CityJet flight after take-off when a six foot long section of the left wing was seen detached from the plane.
The WX 281 flight had just taken off from London City Airport on its way to Florence when the cover of the operating mechanism on the wing became partially detached.
The crew followed their standard procedures and, after a discussion with CityJet Maintenance Control, decided to return to London City Airport.
The plane had to circle the Thames Estuary before returning to land at the London airport with a damaged wing.
Emergency services were called to the Avro RJ85 plane once it landed on the runway.
The aircraft returned making a "normal approach and landing" and passengers were re-directed on another aircraft to continue their journey to Florence, CityJet said.
They left with a two hour delay.