By Yasmine Julmisse, CNN
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (WPBF) – JetBlue Flight 62 took off from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) around 11:04 a.m. Sunday with the destination of New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
However, the plane experienced what officials call a bird strike, forcing the crew to turn around over the ocean and return to PBI 30 minutes later. The aircraft, an Airbus A320, landed safely on the runway.
A bird hit the aircraft during or after takeoff, according to JetBlue. This all happened on the 14th anniversary of the Miracle on the Hudson.
On Jan. 15, 2009, 155 passengers and crew took off from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina around 3:16 p.m. The US Airways Flight encountered a flock of Canadian geese, killing two of the planes’ engines mid-air. Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger made the split-second decision to land on the Hudson River, a historic life-saving decision.
All 155 people survived and Sullenberger has been recognized for his actions ever since, including in a 2016 film by Clint Eastwood, featuring Tom Hanks as Sully.
On Sunday, the JetBlue flight at PBIA was heading to the same airport that US Airways Flight 1549 took off from exactly 14 years ago. JetBlue Flight 62 reached no higher than 3,700 feet before the pilot had to return to the ground, according to FlightAware.com.
Officials haven’t confirmed the type of bird that interfered with the JetBlue flight, but the Federal Aviation Administration on their site says that mourning doves were the most common species of a bird struck by civil aircraft in the US between 1990 to 2019. They accounted for 11 percent of the birds identified to exact species.
The FAA also says that airports reduce the risk of wildlife strikes through integrated wildlife management programs. The programs include changes to the habitat at and in the vicinity of the airport and methods to disperse or remove the birds and other wildlife that pose a risk.
JetBlue says that the Airbus A320 will be inspected by maintenance and that their team is working to accommodate customers on later flights. The FAA is investigating the incident.
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