Flight 1063 encountered the bird or birds on takeoff and the captain decided to return to Kennedy as a precaution, Anthony Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based Delta, said in an e-mailed message. The twin-engine plane was bound for Los Angeles and carried 179 passengers and crew.
No injuries were reported, and the crew didn’t need to deploy emergency slides, Black said. Delta is working to rebook passengers on other flights, he said.
Bird strikes can cripple aircraft, as happened in the January 2009 ditching of a US Airways Group Inc. jet into New York’s Hudson River after both engines lost power. The Airbus SAS A320 bobbed in the water while all 155 people aboard were rescued in what became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles became overnight celebrities for safely gliding the plane into the river minutes after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia airport. The Smithsonian Institution later found that the jet hit at least three migrating Canada geese, which weigh 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) on average.
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