JetBlue flight forced to land after hitting seagull

By Kyle Johnson,

A JetBlue flight in New York had to be diverted shortly after takeoff because it hit a seagull, which punched a hole in the nose of the plane.

The passenger jet, with 142 on board, landed at Kennedy International Airport shortly after leaving the Westchester County Airport, reports The Associated Press. Assistant manager of the small airport, Stephen Ferguson, said the plane collided with the bird at about 300 feet.

Though there was now a dead bird in a hole in the nose of the plane, the plane seemed fine, but everyone decided it would be better to land at JFK. "The runways are longer there and JetBlue has a hub there, with a full maintenance crew," Ferguson said.

According to NBC New York, the pilot told traffic control, "On departure we hit numerous seagulls, one took a direct hit right on the nose."

Bird strikes at the Westchester Airport has been steadily decreasing over the past few years. There were 44 reported in 2012, then 22 in 2013. The one today was the first of 2014.

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