Alaska Flight Aborted After Eagle Strike

An Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle had to be aborted over the weekend when an eagle was sucked into the jet's engine on takeoff.

The incident happened in the small Alaska town of Sitka.

Flight 68 was approaching takeoff speed when the eagle intake shut off the plane's left engine, airline spokesman Paul McElroy tells the Anchorage Daily News.

He says the plane braked to a stop about halfway down the 6,500-foot runway, which ends at the edge of the sea. The Boeing 737-400 taxied back to the terminal with a single engine working.

McElroy says such bird strikes in Alaska are unusual, though not unheard of.

None of the 134 passengers and five crew members were injured. Officials were inspecting the sidelined plane for damage.

"We were roaring down the runway and about the time they'd be picking the nose up, we hear a big kaboom," passenger Bill Shake of Portland, Ore., tells the newspaper. "It sounded like a flat tire."

Shake says passengers applauded the pilot when he came out of the cockpit after the incident.

Photo, sillygwailo, flickr
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