Bird Strike Forces JetBlue Flight Return

April 25, 2012

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A bird strike forced a JetBlue flight bound for Florida to make an emergency return to Westchester Airport, the airline said on Wednesday, the second such incident at a New York area airport in less than two weeks.

Flight 571, scheduled for a 6:45 pm EDT Tuesday departure from the West Harrison, New York airport for West Palm Beach, encountered the birds shortly after takeoff, according to a JetBlue statement.

"Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the passengers and crew onboard, the captain elected to return to the gate," the JetBlue statement said.

None of the 54 customers or 4 crew members aboard the Embraer 190 aircraft was injured, the airline said.

The flight landed safely and the passengers were reboarded onto another aircraft that departed for West Palm Beach at 8:25 pm, arriving in West Palm Beach at about midnight, the airline said.

JetBlue did not confirm how many or what kind of birds were involved.

Last week, a bird strike shortly after takeoff forced a Delta Air Lines flight to make an emergency return to New York's John F Kennedy Airport.

According to the FAA's website, wildlife strikes are not uncommon, with an average of 26 strikes a day in recent years.