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FAA: 3 planes arriving at LaGuardia struck by birds in 4 hours

Central terminal at LaGuardia Airport on April 11,

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

Three planes arriving at LaGuardia Airport Wednesday reported colliding with birds in a span of about four hours, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Two of the bird strikes were reported by crews of ExpressJet Airlines and the third by Air Canada, said Jim Peters, an FAA spokesman. All three aircraft landed safely on Runway 31 and no one was hurt.

The first report came in at 7:18 a.m. when ExpressJet flight 5400, operating as Delta Connection from Greensboro, North Carolina, was turning to land, Peters said.

A preliminary inspection of the plane found evidence that a bird had struck the plane's nose gear, Peters said.

An hour and half later, at 8:53 a.m., ExpressJet flight 5432, operating as Delta Connection from Cleveland, landed on Runway 31 and was taxiing to the ramp when the crew reported striking a bird, according to the FAA.

"A thorough inspection for a possible bird strike on each aircraft showed no damage, and both aircraft have returned to service," said Samantha Harrison, a spokeswoman for ExpressJet Airlines.

The third report came in at 11:15 a.m., when the crew of Air Canada, an Embraer E190 airliner, reported hitting a bird about 12 miles northeast of LaGuardia.

"There was no operational impact," said Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada.

LaGuardia was the scene of one of the most famous bird strikes in aviation history. On Jan. 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320-200 piloted by Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, lost both engines after striking Canada geese on takeoff. Sullenberger landed the aircraft on the Hudson River off Manhattan. All 155 passengers and crew survived.

The FAA, which is investigating the bird strikes, said it's not known what type of birds were killed. Typically, remains of the fowl are collected and sent to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., for identification.

From May 1, 2013, to May 1, 2014, there were 151 bird strikes reported at LaGuardia, according to the FAA.

On a number of occasions, multiple bird strikes have been reported on the same day. On April 1, three bird strikes involving common nighthawk, dark-eyed junco and American robin happened, according to the FAA. There was no damage or damage less than $50,000 to the airplanes. On Nov. 19, 2013, four bird strikes were reported at LaGuardia involving American robin, dark-eyed junco and rock pigeon. With John Valenti

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