Xiamen-Shanghai flight forced to make emergency landing after hitting birds

Updated: 18 Apr 2014
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The plane landed successfully at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. Mechanics are examining and repairing the plane.
A Xiamen-Shanghai flight landed safely at Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport on Wednesday afternoon after its crew reported the jet hit birds just after take-off.

The captain of the China Eastern Airlines flight MU5666, which had been bound for Shanghai, declared an emergency after a bird flew straight into his pilot-side window.

The plane, which had taken off from the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport at 13:29, made a safe landing there shortly after the incident. Ground crews later found serious damage to the windshield, which was dotted with the bird’s blood and feathers.

A Xiamen ATC station spokesman said no passengers were injured. The flight was canceled and the passengers were placed aboard another aircraft for the flight to Shanghai.

China Eastern Airlines confirmed the bird strike incident later and praised their crew for handling it calmly. The airline said the plane landed successfully, and that their mechanics have examined and repaired the plane.

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 have gained a lot of experience in dealing with such incidents.

Bird collisions with airplanes can be dangerous if they damage engines, the windshield, or certain other parts of the plane, experts explained.
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