A Florida-bound JetBlue flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Kennedy Airport yesterday morning after experiencing a bird strike on takeoff from Westchester County Airport, officials said.
The Airbus A320, with 142 passengers, landed safely and without incident, the airline said in a statement. The Federal Aviation Administration said the crew declared an emergency after the strike and said the incident is under investigation, confirming there were no injuries.
Flight 671 was scheduled to depart Westchester at 8:41 a.m. bound for Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla. Its scheduled arrival time was 11:33 a.m.
It was not clear when the Airbus left Westchester, but the FAA said the crew declared the emergency at 9:30 a.m. JetBlue said the captain then elected to divert to Kennedy "out of an abundance of caution."
The FAA said the plane landed on Runway 22L at 9:38 a.m. and that, based on preliminary accounts, it sustained damage to its nose.
"When we got off the plane we saw the bird all over the front of the plane," passenger Karen Hershberg told News 12 Westchester. "Then they removed the bird and there was a big hole in the nose."
An airline spokeswoman said customers were given travel options, with most passengers taking another flight from Kennedy to various airports in Florida and some going back to Westchester County.