FAA: Three planes report bird strikes at LaGuardia Airport

Central terminal at LaGuardia Airport on April 11, Central terminal at LaGuardia Airport on April 11, 2014. Photo Credit: Uli Seit

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The crews of three flights landing at LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday morning reported bird strikes to their aircraft -- though the Federal Aviation Administration said the flights all managed to land safely.

One of the strikes involved an Air Canada Embraer E190 airliner, which reported hitting a bird about 12 miles northeast of LaGuardia at 11:15 a.m. The other two strikes involved ExpressJet flights that landed about an hour and a half -- at 7:18 a.m. and 8:53 a.m.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty airports, did not immediately respond to questions about the strikes.

A spokesman said the FAA has taken significant precautions to ensure the safety of flights at the airport, which was the scene of one of the most famous bird strikes in aviation history -- the so-called Miracle on the Hudson landing of US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320-200 piloted by Capt. Chesley Sullenberger that lost both engines after hitting Canada geese on takeoff on Jan. 15, 2009.

That flight was scheduled from LaGuardia to Seattle-Tacoma with a stopover at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sullenberger safely landed on the Hudson River off Manhattan -- all 155 passengers and crew aboard surviving.

The FAA said its investigation into the three strikes Wednesday is continuing and did not immediately say if the strikes were related.

The FAA identified the first two flights involved as ExpressJet Airlines Flight 5400 and ExpressJet Flight 5432. Both aircraft are CRJ700 regional jets, the FAA said.

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The FAA said Flight 5400 reported a bird strike "as the aircraft was turning to land on Runway 31 at LaGuardia Airport" at about 7:18 a.m.

"The aircraft landed safely," the FAA said in a statement, adding that "a preliminary post-flight inspection" found evidence "that a bird struck the aircraft's nose gear." The extent of the damage was unknown.

The FAA said that about an hour and half later, Flight 5432 "reported striking a bird while taxiing to the ramp after landing on Runway 31."

That occurred at 8:53 a.m.

No injuries were reported in any of the three incidents.

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Wildlife mitigation plans are the responsibility of airport management, officials said.

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