January 22, 2014 - 4:35 PM
KELOWNA – An Alaska airliner bound for Seattle was called back to Kelowna Airport after the pilot noticed a bird had struck the starboard engine Wednesday afternoon.
According to YLW spokesperson Jenelle Hynes, the bird, most likely a hawk or juvenile eagle, was seen and felt hitting the airplane shortly after takeoff at around 12:30 p.m.
“As a precaution, the pilot returned to YLW so that the aircraft could receive a full mechanical inspection,” says Hynes.
The passengers and their baggage were off-loaded and rebooked on the next available flight.
The remains of the bird were found on the outer cowling of the starboard engine. It did not survive.
Hynes says that while bird strikes are not uncommon, they can be quite dangerous depending on a number of factors including size and quantity.
“This does happen, not often, but it happens,” says Hynes. “Usually it doesn’t cause any damage but the plane was called back as a precaution.”
The aircraft, an Alaska Airlines Q400, has a maximum capacity of 76 passengers.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014