Wednesday, March 8, 2017
6 bird strikes occur a month at Tampa International Airport
Bird collision forces emergency landing at TIA
By Paul LaGrone
WFTS TV Ch 7 (ABC), Tampa (FL)
At Tampa International Airport planes share the skies with another pair of wings.
A few minutes into their trip to Houston, United Flight 164 had a problem. Cockpit audio revealing the moments during the mid-air emergency:
"The Boeing 747 had 3 Geese strike the aircraft, they don't believe there's any damage."
"We have a 133 souls on board and we have declared an emergency."
The pilots and air traffic control reacted quickly and calmly. The plane looped around Tampa bay, and landed safely after 10 minutes in the air.
Bird strikes happen 6 times a month at TIA, in part because the airport is right on the water.
And it's not just birds, everything from armadillos to coyotes can collide with planes on the runway.
The Airport and the FAA track every single bird collision.
"We actually take samples from the bird remnants and send them to the Smithsonian Institute where they will tell us definitively what kind of bird it is," says Emily Nipps, TIA spokesperson
And they try to stop the strikes before they happen.
"We actually use cracker shells in a shot gun and shoot it in the air and that will scare them off," says Nipps.
Airport officials stress, passengers should not be concerned about these rare events.
After being inspected at TIA , Flight 164 took off and landed safely in Houston on Wednesday afternoon.