Birds force Delta emergency landing at Kennedy Airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2012 5:23 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A bird strike forced a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Los Angeles to make an emergency return to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport 10 minutes after takeoff on Thursday, authorities said.

The pilot of Delta Flight 1063 reported an engine-related problem and landed the Boeing 757 safely at the New York airport from which it had departed at 3 p.m., said a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Flight 1063 was on take-off when the aircraft encountered a bird strike" in its right engine, said Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman. "As a precaution, the captain returned to JFK."

There were no injuries reported.

It was not clear how many birds or what kind of birds were involved.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees airports in metropolitan New York, said the pilot reported the "engine issue" 10 minutes into the flight.

In January 2009, a US Airways plane piloted by Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River after it struck a flock of geese just after take-off at New York's LaGuardia Airport and lost power in both engines.

All 155 passengers and crew survived the splash-landing that came to be dubbed "Miracle on the Hudson."

Such strikes are not uncommon. The FAA maintains a page on its website dedicated to wildlife strikes and said there were 121,000 strikes, mostly birds, between 1990 and 2010, averaging 26 strikes a day in recent years.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg and Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Doina Chiacu)