JetBlue flight diverted after bird strike

William Holt
William Holt
The Lookout

A JetBlue flight from White Plains, N.Y., to Fort Myers, Fla., was diverted to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday morning after experiencing a bird strike shortly after takeoff, the airline said.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the aircraft diverted to John F. Kennedy airport for inspection and landed safely at 8:25 AM,” JetBlue announced in a statement.

Bird strikes—collisions between any airborne animal and an aircraft—represent a growing danger to flight safety. Damage and lost flight time from such collisions are estimated to average $600 million, according to the FAA.

One such bird strike resulted in the “Miracle on the Hudson” incident of 2009. In January of that year, US Airways flight 1549 lost both engines after a bird strike occurred just northeast of the George Washington Bridge that spans New York City and New Jersey. The pilot, Capt. Chesley B Sullenberger, safely landed all 155 passengers in the middle of the Hudson River before rescue boats arrived.

No one on board Thursday morning’s JetBlue flight 1205 was injured. The 68 passengers were quickly boarded on another aircraft, which is expected to arrive in Fort Myers early Thursday afternoon.