Sacramento International Airport shares airspace with millions of birds
An American Airlines flight from Sacramento to Texas returned to Sacramento International Airport after a possible bird strike, according to news reports.
Flight AA 1200 left Sacramento International Airport on Sunday morning and was headed to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, KCRA reported. The plane was reportedly in the air for 31 minutes before landing.
Bird strikes pose a potentially significant hazard for planes, especially this time of year. Sacramento has one of the highest bird strike rates in the country, the Sacramento Bee reported in 2016, because the city sits beneath the giant bird migratory route known as the Pacific Flyway.
Calls to the Sacramento International Airport were not immediately returned.
“I saw several shapes go into one of the turbines. They looked like birds. I wasn’t sure,” passenger Bryan Dempsey told KCRA. “I felt a huge bump and the wings tilted back and forth. You can definitely feel something was affected. Shortly after that, the plane started to descend, not fast, but still descending.”