Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Bird Strike

Ben Forer
Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Bird Strike
Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing After Bird Strike (ABC News)

Image Credit: ABC News

Delta Flight 1063 was forced to make an emergency landing at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after its right engine reportedly experienced a bird strike shortly after takeoff this afternoon.

The flight, originally bound for Los Angeles, returned safely to JFK.

"On takeoff, the airplane had a likely bird strike," said a Delta statement. "As a precaution, the captain elected to return to JFK. The flight landed without incident, and we're working on reaccomodating the passengers."

CNN's Ali Velshi, who was on the flight, tweeted that following the bird strike the cabin filled with smoke. Velshi also commended the captain and crew for "a quick turnaround & landing."

Jet engines are tested to ensure they can take a hit from birds, but sometimes, as in the case of the Miracle on the Hudson, a flock of large birds are too much for engines to handle.

Currently, the largest bird an engine has to be designed and demonstrated to ingest is a four-pound bird, according to Paul Eschenfelder, a wildlife specialist at the Air Line Pilots Association. Eschenfelder says that none of the engines flying are designed or built to survive an ingestion of an eight to 15 pound bird or 25 pound swan.

There have been 2,586 bird strikes at JFK Airport since Jan. 1, 1990, according to FAA data, though all were not necessarily dangerous or during flight.

ABC News' Lisa Stark and Matt Hosford contributed to this report.