A Shandong Airlines flight returned to Hefei Xinqiao International Airport for an emergency landing after its crew reported the jet hit birds just after take-off.
The captain of the plane, which had been bound for Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport, declared an emergency after birds entered one of the Boeing 737's two engines.
The plane, which had taken off from the Hefei Xinqiao International Airport at 21:49, made a safe landing there shortly after the incident. Ground crews later found serious damage to one of the plane's two engines.
A Shandong Airlines spokesman said no passengers were injured. The flight was canceled and the passengers were placed aboard another aircraft for the flight to Xiamen the next day.
According to reports, it is the third such accident in a month at the Xinqiao International Airport.
On the 14th and 15th of February, 2 airplanes were forced to return to the airport due to bird strikes after takeoff. No casualties were reported.
Bird strike incidents are more common in Spring and Autumn when there are a lot of birds migrating through the sky, the airline said, and their crew has gained a lot of experience in dealing with such incidents.
Bird collisions with airplanes can be dangerous when they damage engines, the windshield, and certain other parts of the plane, experts warned.
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