Bird forces plane to make emergency landing in Dania - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Bird forces plane to make emergency landing in Dania

By John Bachman email
Posted by Rachel Leigh email

LANTANA, FL (WFLX) - A  turkey vulture busts out the window on a twin engine Cessna Monday in Ft. Lauderdale.

We talked with some pilots at Lantana's airport who say they're constantly dodging birds while in the air.

"There's a lot in the area... always," flight Student Alexander Santos told us.

And while they may have inspired us to fly, birds are a big problem for pilots. Veteran pilot and flight instructor Miguel Duran has had his share of close calls with birds. "I had a couple of collisions - nothing happened frequently."

So, when it comes to teaching his students, like Alexander Santos, bird watching plays an important part of the in-flight checklist. "[I am] always looking for traffic, trying to keep up the air speed and altitude, and looking for birds. Honest to God, that's what we are always doing."

A turkey vulture embedded in the windshield of a twin engine Cessna Monday at the Fort Lauderdale airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries but was able to land the plane safely.

Just last month, you likely remember the U.S. Airways flight forced to land in New York's Hudson river after colliding with a flock of Canada geese (Read Story).

And, while plane/bird collisions are nothing new, Miguel Duran hopes all the attention paid to those two recent incidents will lead raise awareness about the problem. "Oh, absolutely, to have some technology to help keep the birds away from the airport."

Alexander Santos is also a air plane mechanic, and he's had to repair plenty of planes after bird strikes. He says the damage is normally pretty bad.

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