A bird strike shortly after takeoff forced a Delta 757 to make an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport with 179 people on board Thursday afternoon.
No one was hurt as the crew turned the Los Angeles-bound plane around and returned to the airport safely.
The pilot notified the JFK control tower of the emergency as the plane lost its right engine. Published reports said the passenger cabin filled with smoke.
The website for Boeing, which manufactures the 757, said the plane is outfitted with two Rolls Royce or Pratt & Whitney engines. Different models can carry between 200 and 228 passengers and crew.
The region’s and nation’s most infamous bird strike resulted in the Miracle on the Hudson landing on Jan. 15, 2009 when a large flock of geese destroyed both engines on US Airways Flight 1549 out of LaGuardia Airport.
Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, an Air Force Academy graduate and experienced glider pilot, successfully ditched the Airbus A3200 in the Hudson River along with co-pilot Jeff Skiles.
Sullenberger was the last one off the plane as it became submerged in the river. Passengers sustained various injuries and suffered from exposure to the cold, but one was killed.
The US Airways incident has been used by critics of the Bloomberg Administration’s plans to complete a garbage transfer station near LaGuardia at College Point.
The building would be less than 2,200 feet from the end of LaGuardia runway 13/31. Opponents of the project, including Jim Hall, the former head of the National Transportation Safety Board under President Clinton, say the garbage at the site and the rats attracted to it will draw birds that feed off them, putting even more birds into the air.
Th ecity insists the building will be perfectly seald so as to not attract animals.
Kennedy Airport sits on Jamaica Bay, the site of a federal bird and wildlife sanctuary., and the potential for increased bird strikes has been used by critics of Kennedy runway expansion onto the bay.
Expanding Kennedy runways into a bird sanctuary “is a bad combination,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) in a recent interview with the Chronicle.