BOSTON (CBS) – A Boston-bound JetBlue flight was forced to turn around after the plane struck a bird after takeoff Thursday morning.

Flight 2216, an Embraer E190, took off from Buffalo International Airport around 6 a.m. The bird was hit a short time later, and the captain made a safe return to Runway 23 in Buffalo.

In a statement, JetBlue said the captain decided not to continue to Boston’s Logan Airport as scheduled “out of an abundance of caution.” All customers will be accommodated on other flights as a result.

Jess Murszewski arrived in Boston seven hours later than she expected. “The captain came on and said we may have a potential bird strike. We’re going to circle around, go back,” she recalled.

It’s not what Murszewski saw but what she heard from the engine that was unsettling. “It was metal grinding. The engine itself was very stressed. Certainly, it was very loud, it was very metal. It was coming from that side –the pilot’s side of the plane. ”

Crews inspect a JetBlue engine after it hit a bird shortly after take off. (Image Credit: Jess Murszewski)

She said it was a surreal experience when the plane was met by emergency responders back in Buffalo. “They definitively said that the [engine] blade was cracked — this was after roughly a ten-minute inspection. So they said the engine blade was cracked and that we were going to need to disembark.”

Murszewski then phoned her mother, who remembered the catastrophic bird strike that’s infamously called the “Miracle on the Hudson”, even if her experience was a little less harrowing. “She goes ‘Jess! You basically had a Sully on board. You realize that right? He was able to get you back.'”

Even though the pilot turned around out of an abundance of caution, Murszewski said based on what she heard it had to be the right decision. “I’m not obviously an engine mechanic or anything like that, but I certainly trust that they made the right decision and certainly with all of our lives on board it was absolutely prudent.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it will investigate the incident and the aircraft will be inspected by maintenance crews.


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