Local News

Bird strike forces plane to scrap takeoff

Posted August 23, 2009 6:34 p.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2009 6:37 p.m. EDT

— A bird strike forced a plan at the Wilmington International Airport (ILM) to scrap its takeoff Sunday morning, airport officials said.

Three birds hit Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flight 4939, which was bound for Atlanta, as it reached take-off speed on the runway.

The pilot returned the jet to the terminal, and the 26 passengers onboard were not injured.

After being inspected, the plane left ILM at about 10:30 a.m. It arrived safely in Atlanta nearly an hour later, officials said.

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration said a bird strike started an engine fire that forced a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320 to make an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Airline officials said 153 people were on board Flight 1546, which left RDU for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Passengers reported hearing a loud boom just after take off, then seeing a huge flame from the engine. Within 20 minutes of take-off, the pilot turned the plane around and landed safely.

There were no injuries.