Birds Hit Two Planes Flying Out Of JFK Airport

Two planes taking off from JFK Airport this weekend were forced to turn around after they ran into a flock of birds.

The NY Daily News reports that a JetBlue flight carrying about 70 passengers was on its way to the Dominican Republic when it ran into a flock of birds. The plane safely returned to JFK without incident. Passengers were put onto a new plane and were back in the air in about 90 minutes.

A very similar incident occurred the following day. On Sunday, another JetBlue flight on its way to the Bahamas ran into a second flock of birds. The plane returned to the airport and the passengers were put onto another plane.

Spokeswoman Tamara Bentham didn’t have exact numbers but did say that it was a very unusual occurrence.

Bentham told Bloomberg: “In my experience, this is not a common occurrence for us.”

Live Science reports that bird strikes are a fairly common occurrence, but it is unusual for them to force a plan to land. Between 2000 and 2009, there were more than 500 bird strikes that caused damage to the plane. About 150 of those incidents resulted in an emergency landing.

One of the more famous incidents occurred about four years ago this month when US Airways plane ran into a flock of birds and had to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River. The incident, dubbed the Miracle on the Hudson, made Captain Chesley Sullenberger III an overnight celebrity.