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JetBlue Flight Returns To Logan After Hitting Bird On Takeoff

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – It wasn’t an average trip to Chicago Tuesday morning for 146 passengers on a Jet Blue flight out of Boston. The plane hit a bird and had to turn around suddenly.

Margaret Barnaby was trying get home to Chicago.

“We are on the plane taking off and a couple of minutes into it you hear this noise and the plane is vibrating.”

Trey Simmons of Hamilton, was also on the flight.

“I heard a big bang. I was sitting on the right side of the plane and engine started shaking a little bit.”

The bird strike happened just as Jet Blue flight 111 to Chicago was taking off just after 8 a.m. The pilot quickly informed passengers that they were turning around.

“The captain came on said a bird hit the nose. It may have hit the nose. But it was clear when we landed it hit the engine. It got crushed,” Barnaby said.

A picture taken by one of the passengers shows ground crews inspecting the right front engine of the Airbus 320. The flight was cancelled.

In cases like Tuesday’s, experts try to determine exactly what kind of bird it was. Once they know that, they are in a much better position to possibly protect against it happening again. The  airport wildlife crews are busier than you might think. The Federal Aviation Administration reports that in just the past year, there have been 111 wildlife strikes at Logan, or, more than twice a week and in three cases, the strike caused minor damage to the plane.

Passengers tell WBZ-TV, the pilot told them as they got off the plane that he may have seen this one coming.

“The pilot said he and the copilot had seen a bird go by and they thought it had hit the door,” said Laurie Humphrey of Mansfield.

Massport says they have a robust wildlife management program that includes detection, harassment and relocation. The airport operator says they were using sirens this morning and there were two wildlife spotters on the airfield this morning.

Passengers were given the option of taking another flight from Logan to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, the airline said in a statement.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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