Two JetBlue planes out of New York's John F. Kennedy Airport were forced to make emergency landings this weekend after colliding with birds.
A JetBlue plane with 70 passengers hit some birds moments after taking off for the Dominican Republic around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, officials said. The plane circled back to JFK without incident and travelers boarded a new aircraft, which took off about 90 minutes later.
A second JetBlue flight, on its way to Nassau in the Bahamas, with 125 passengers, hit a bird about an hour after its 9:59 a.m. takeoff Sunday, according to a JetBlue spokesperson. The collision was not believed to have damaged the plane, but the pilot returned to JFK Airport as a precaution. Passengers were also flown out on a substitute plane.
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Although the two similar incidents occurred within two days of each other, bird strikes are rare, spokeswoman Tamara Bentham told Business Week.
"In my experience, this is not a common occurrence for us," she said.
The incidents come four years after a major bird strike caused a US Airways flight to land in the Hudson River in New York City in what is now known as the "Miracle on the Hudson."
On Jan. 15, 2009, Capt Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger was able to safely land the flight in the river after it hit a flock of geese a few minutes after taking off from nearby La Guardia Airport, according to Travelers Today.
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