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Quality of Life

Delta Jet Makes Emergency Landing At Lindbergh Field After Bird-Strike

A Delta flight from San Diego's Lindbergh Field was forced to return after striking a bird shortly after takeoff Monday evening.

An airport official told KPBS media partner 10News that Delta Airlines Flight 2078 departed Lindbergh Field at 4:55 p.m. and was on its way to Salt Lake City when the pilot reported that the plane struck a bird less than 10 minutes after taking off.

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The incident prompted the plane to turn around and head back to the airport, landing safely at about 5:11 p.m. No injuries were reported.

KPBS media partner 10News spoke on the phone with Ashley Easton, a passenger on the flight.

When asked if she actually felt the bird strike, she told 10News, "Yeah, a little … when the bird went through the engine, the plane jolted a little bit and the engine started making a funny noise, so it was kind of scary."

She added, "At first we didn’t know what was going on, but then the captain came on and said that everything was going to be OK. Then about a minute later, he came on and said it was a bird strike and that we were going to be returning to San Diego."

Such in-flight collisions with wildlife can cause aviation accidents and have killed more than 250 people since 1988, according to Bird Strike Committee USA.

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Around 400,000 travelers are expected to pass through the gates at Lindbergh Field during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, so passengers should plan to arrive earlier than normal, airport officials said Monday.

City News Service contributed to this report.