COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Just 10 minutes after taking off, American Airlines flight 2380 was forced to make a precautionary landing back at Port Columbus this morning due to a bird strike.
A spokeswoman for the airport said the aircraft struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff at 6:30 Friday morning.
American Airlines said it could not confirm the type of bird and is still assessing the damage to the aircraft.
“The Boeing 737-800 is currently being inspected by our maintenance team, and the flight was subsequently canceled,” the airline said in a statement. “Our team has rebooked customers on other flights to Dallas/Fort Worth or their final destination via other flights. Flight 2380 had a crew of six and 161 passengers.”
Matt Dreher, a program director at Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Safety, says bird strikes are fairly common.
“There are 14,000 bird strikes reported per year, but there are very few cases where we hear about it because, in most cases, they’re really a nonevent,” Dreher said.
FAA data shows a significant number of incidents involve smaller birds like sparrows, swallows, and pigeons.
Dreher says when larger birds are involved or critical parts of the plane are damaged, pilots are likely to take immediate action.
“As pilots and when we’re teaching pilots, we teach that minimizing the risk is absolutely the foremost thing that we need to be concerned with so whenever anything unusual does happen, it’s better to be on the ground dealing with that problem than to be in the air,” Dreher said. “You have a lot more options on the ground.”