PORTLAND — A United Continental Airlines flight returned to Portland International Jetport this afternoon after hitting a bird shortly after take-off, but following an inspection, was able to take off again.

Flight 5864, bound for Washington, D.C., was diverted back to Portland after the pilot reported striking a bird. The bird strike appears to have occurred at about 2:30 p.m. just as the plane was taking off,  said Airport Director Paul Bradbury. A flock of small birds flew in front of the plane, prompting the pilot to return to the jetport, Bradbury said.

The plane, which was scheduled to leave at 2:15 p.m., was delayed a little more than an hour and left at 3:37 p.m. The aircraft, which has 50 seats, had about 40 people on board.

Bradbury said bird strikes happen more often than the general public might be aware, and airports take steps – including firing noise cannons and screeching guns – to scare away birds that congregate on the wide open greens around the airport tarmac.

Migrating geese can be a nuisance and a hazard at this time of year, but these birds were much smaller, which is probably why there was no damage, Bradbury said.

On Jan. 15, 2009, a collision between a US Airways flight and a flock of geese near LaGuardia Airport knocked out both engines leading to the “Miracle on the Hudson” when the pilot landed the jet safely on the Hudson River.

 

 

 

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.