Jet lands safely in Denver after bird hits engine |

Jet lands safely in Denver after bird hits engine

DENVER, Colorado ” United Airlines says a jetliner has returned safely to the Denver airport after a bird struck one of its engines shortly after takeoff.

Airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy says the engine that was struck continued to operate and the second engine wasn’t affected. None of the 151 passengers and crew was injured.

The Boeing 757 had just taken off for San Francisco on Tuesday when the bird strike happened.

McCarthy said the pilot’s decision to return to the airport was a precaution.

A US Airways jet splash-landed in New York’s Hudson River on Jan. 15 after a collision with a flock of birds knocked out both engines. All 155 aboard survived.

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Frank Crowe of Chicago, a passenger aboard the United flight, said “there was definitely panic but there wasn’t hysteria” after the bird strike.

“We heard a large thump like we hit something, and the pitch of the engine changed dramatically to the point that it got real quiet, and there was a rattling, wheezing noise,” Crowe said.

Crowe said the bird hit the right engine.

He said after the plane landed and he returned to the concourse, he could see a dent on top of the engine cowling.

He said emergency vehicles parked on the tarmac around the plane and mechanics climbed into the engine to inspect it.

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