Bird Strike Endangers LaGuardia Plane Again!

Plane lands safely, no one hurt

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    NEWSLETTERS

    WNBC
    The pilot flying this American Airlines jet reported a bird strike as the jet began its descent into LaGuardia Airport today. The strike caused a hydraulic leak, but no one was injured.

    A bird strike has once again endangered a plane flying near LaGuardia Airport -- an incident that recalls the near-disaster celebrated as "The Miracle on the Hudson."

    Fortunately once again, the pilot in today's bird-struck plane also managed to land his without anyone getting hurt.

    The aircraft, American Airlines Flight 1256 from Miami to LaGuardia, was just about to touch down when the pilot reported a bird strike. One bird struck the front landing gear of the plane at about 1200 feet, causing hydraulic fluid to leak from the Boeing 737-800, according to American Airlines.

    None of the 140 people -- 135 passengers and 5 crew -- on board were hurt. The passengers hadn't known a bird struck the plane until they were safely on the ground, the airline said. 

    The aircraft had to be towed to the gate after it reported trouble with the nose gear.

    New York City attempted to reduce the danger of bird strikes this month by rounding up thousands of them to be gassed. The six-week plan seeks to trap Canada geese during their molting season, when they can't fly, which has outraged some animal-rights activists. But the mayor has said the city hasn't found any other effective means of controlling the goose population.

    Bird strikes have been a hot topic since a flock of migrating Canada geese collided with US Airways Flight 1549 in January, killing the thrust in both engines and sending the just-airborne craft on a collision path with the Hudson River. Pilot Chesley Sullenberger miraculously landed the aircraft safely on the water and all 155 people on board survived.   

    At a recent National Transportation Safety Board hearing on Flight 1549's emergency water landing, witnesses said there was nothing the airport could have done to prevent the collision that brought down the plane.

    The airliner was climbing at about 2,800 feet and was nearly five miles away from the airport when it struck the birds. Airports don't have much ability to control birds and other wildlife beyond their property boundaries, experts said.

    Experts on bird-plane collisions told the board that LaGuardia has significantly reduced bird strikes on or near the airport in recent years, partly by killing geese on nearby Rikers Island. There were 87 reported strikes near LaGuardia last year. Most caused no damage.