A JetBlue flight struck a bird on takeoff from Palm Beach International Airport on Sunday afternoon and had to make an emergency landing.
JetBlue Flight 62 immediately landed at PBIA and returned to the terminal safely, a company spokesperson said. The flight was headed to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
“The aircraft will be inspected by maintenance,” the spokesman said. “Our team is working to accommodate customers on later flights.”
Palm Beach airport officials received the first alert about the incident around noon, followed by another notifying of the plane’s return about 15 minutes later, said airport spokeswoman Nicole Hughes.
Bird strikes on airplanes happen on occasion. In November, an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 left Chicago and flew through multiple birds on approach to Kansas City airport. The aircraft suffered damage, but no person onboard was injured.
The Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that between 1990-2019 there have been about 227,005 strikes caused by wildlife with civil aircrafts in the United States, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Reports show most bird strikes, about 53%, happen between July to October when young birds have recently fledged from nests and when fall migration occurs.
Coincidentally, Sunday marked 14 years since the “Miracle on the Hudson” occurred in New York, which also involved a bird strike. On Jan. 15, 2009, a U.S. Airways flight took off from LaGuardia and lost engine power when it struck a flock of geese. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed the plane in the Hudson River and all on board were rescued.