SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A Delta Airlines flight bound for Salt Lake City was forced to make an early landing Monday after it was hit by a bird or a flock of birds.
Delta flight 1232 left Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Monday morning; however, one minute into the flight, passengers reported hearing a loud noise. The pilot informed passengers that the plane had been hit by a bird or a flock of birds and that the flight would be returning to Phoenix.
Airport authorities later reported that the windshield of the plane was cracked.
Barbara Gann, spokesperson for Salt Lake International Airport said that bird strikes are common. According to FAA records, there have been 600 bird strikes nationwide this year and bird strikes cause 600 million dollars in damage to aircraft every year. However, most strikes are not serious enough to ground a plane.
The damage caused by the birds to flight 1232 was considered enough to put passengers and crew at risk. According to Gann, the decision to ground a plane is ultimately up to the pilot.
No one was injured in today’s emergency landing, and all of the passengers were put on other flights to their final destinations.