Aviation News

April 25, 2012

JetBlue Bird Strike Forces Emergency Landing at Westchester Airport [with ATC Audio]

A JetBlue flight hit birds while taking off from Westchester County Airport Tuesday evening, immediately returning to the airport for an emergency landing. No one was injured.

JetBlue Flight 571, operated by an Embraer E190 jet, was cleared for takeoff from Runway 16 to Palm Beach at around 6:45 pm local time. Less than a minute later, the crew told air traffic controllers of their emergency.

“JetBlue 571, we gotta come back, we hit two big geese.”

The geese had damaged the plane’s windshield, according to reports.

Within 10 minutes, the plane landed uneventfully on the same runway and was taxiing back to the terminal.

After the plane arrived, one of the pilots was kind enough to radio to the ground controllers that the bird carcasses had fallen right on the runway.

“Thanks a lot, it comes full circle, huh?” replied the tower.

“It’s quite a mess out here,” said one of the airport’s ground ops personnel, but estimated they would be able to clean it up in a few minutes.

The incident comes amidst a rash of bird strikes in the past week:

On Thursday, a Delta Air Lines 757 was forced to return to JFK Airport after hitting birds on takeoff. Later that day, Air Force Two suffered a bird strike near Santa Barbara Airport. The following day, a Delta Airbus A319 hit a bird while approaching Salt Lake City.

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