Jetliner lands safely after bird strike

Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:59 AM

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A US Airways Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing in Florida after a bird strike shortly after takeoff from Fort Lauderdale, officials said.

Passengers aboard Flight 1121 reported hearing a loud noise and then smelling something burning shortly after the plane took off from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

Passenger Pariq Arsala, sitting near a wing when Wednesday's incident occurred, said he saw a fireball shoot out of one of the jet's engines.

"It smelled like burned car brakes," Arsala said. "I knew immediately something was wrong. Everyone remained calm even after the pilot said we had a bird strike."

US Airways spokesman Derek Hanna said the bird strike blew out one of the jet's two engines. The airplane returned safely to the Fort Lauderdale airport and none of the 70 passengers aboard was injured.

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