JetBlue Flight Hits Geese, Makes Emergency Landing at Westchester County Airport

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JetBlue Flight 571 made an emergency landing after hitting two geese on its way to West Palm Beach, Fla.
JetBlue Flight 571 made an emergency landing after hitting two geese on its way to West Palm Beach, Fla. Photo Credit: Greg Maker
Airport Manager Peter Scherrer observes damage to the windshield of a plane shortly after it collided with geese mid-air.
Airport Manager Peter Scherrer observes damage to the windshield of a plane shortly after it collided with geese mid-air. Photo Credit: Greg Maker
An airport worker cleans the remnants of two geese off the windshield.
An airport worker cleans the remnants of two geese off the windshield. Photo Credit: Greg Maker

HARRISON, N.Y. – A JetBlue flight struck two geese shortly after takeoff Tuesday night and had to make an emergency landing back at Westchester County Airport.

After departing the county airport, JetBlue Flight 571 heading to West Palm Beach, Fla. hit the geese at approximately 6:45 p.m. Airport Manager Peter Scherrer said the plane, which contained 54 passengers and four crew members, landed safely and was delayed for approximately three hours before passengers were put on another plane that departed at approximately 9:35 p.m.

"The pilot must have had enough vision because he was able to come back and land," Scherrer said.

Scherrer said the plane will be inspected and could be used as early as Wednesday morning. The incident will be reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, he said, which will put the information in a database that tracks flight patterns.

"The flight landed safely without incident in Westchester County," JetBlue said in a statement issued Tuesday night. "The passengers are being boarded to another aircraft and the flight will depart for West Palm Beach once complete."

JetBlue representatives declined further comment on the incident. The TSA declined comment.  

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