Bird strike forces plane to make emergency landing at Oakland Airport

Byby Sergio Quintana KGO logo
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Bird strike forces plane to make emergency landing
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A bird strike forced a plane headed to Seattle to make an emergency landing at Oakland International Airport Friday night.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A bird strike damaged a plane, knocked out the pilot's instrument panel and forced it to land at Oakland International Airport.

The plane had to loop around over the East Bay shortly after takeoff.

One of the passengers told ABC7 News they were just minutes into the flight when a stern, but calm announcement came from their captain saying they would have to turn around and land back at the Oakland airport.

According to Alaska Airlines, Flight 349 departed Oakland at 6:47 p.m. for Seattle when shortly after takeoff pilots believe they encountered a bird strike and out of an abundance of caution, they returned the flight back to Oakland.

All 150 passengers on board were OK.

Passenger Chung Park said, "We didn't notice the plane do anything. The pilot came on the PA and said we had a bird strike."

The captain also announced that the impact knocked out an electronics panel inside the cockpit, but his first officer's instruments were fine, so they safely landed.

Alaska Airlines spokesperson Halley Knigge said the pilots are trained for these kinds of emergencies. She said the passengers would be put on a replacement plane by midnight.

The damaged plane will stay grounded for further inspections.