Recent Cases of Birds Damaging Passenger Planes

Friday, Jan 16, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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Recent Cases of Birds Damaging Passenger Planes

Recent cases of birds causing damage to U.S. commercial planes:

Sept. 21, 2008: Multiple wood storks hit a Boeing 767 climbing out of Orlando International Airport, damaging an engine and the nose of the jet. The crew declared an emergency and returned to land 12 minutes later. Passengers heard two loud bangs followed by vibration, noise and a horrible smell.

Sept. 11, 2008: Rock pigeons were sucked into an MD-88's engine as the jet was climbing out of Atlanta International Airport. The engine was destroyed. Aircraft made an emergency landing.

July 24, 2008: Between two and 10 geese struck a Learjet 60 taking off from Morristown, N.J., municipal airport, damaging the No. 2 engine and wing. The pilot aborted the takeoff. Plane damage was $3 million.

June 20, 2008: A red-tailed hawk was sucked into the engine of a Boeing 747-400, taking off from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, damaging engine blades. The plane climbed to dump $100,000 worth of fuel then returned for a landing. Although the hawk struck only one engine, the plane's other engine suffered severe vibrations immediately after the accident.

March 10, 2008: An Airbus 318 jet ran into a flock of Canada geese one mile from Denver International Airport, causing smoke in the cockpit and damage to its landing gear, engines and nose. The plane landed safely but was moved by a tug to its gate.

Jan. 28, 2008: A short-eared owl was sucked into the engine of a Boeing 747 climbing out of the Louisville, Ky., airport, damaging some fan blades inside the engine. The flight crew reported minor noise and vibration afterward, which later subsided. The engine and its housing were later repaired.

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