Flybe flight BE868 from Manchester to Southampton returned to the airport shortly after take-off at 1605 BST.
The airline said the pilot had made the decision as a precaution. Passengers were evacuated down the plane’s steps on to the runway.
No-one on board was injured and the 31 passengers are being re-booked on the next available flight to Southampton.
A Flybe spokesman said: “Safety is Flybe’s number one priority and apologies to all the passengers involved for the delay to their journey.”