Bird strike prompts Allegiant flight to make emergency landing in Sanford

Plane hits bird on way to Milwaukee

SANFORD, Fla. – An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing in Sanford on Wednesday after the plane struck a bird upon takeoff in southwest Florida, officials said.

Flight 1592, traveling from Punta Gorda to Milwaukee, landed at Orlando Sanford International Airport around 7:30 a.m. after being diverted because of the bird strike.

"After landing at SFB out of caution, bird remains were found in one of the engines," an Allegiant spokeswoman said. "The aircraft will be inspected to see if it can continue the trip, and if not, we will operate the continued flight on a new aircraft."
No one was injured. 

"It’s a blessing that everybody was okay," said travler Shakeya Bell.

Bell wasn't on the plane, but told News 6 it's scary hearing about what happened.

"It makes me want to drive back to Kansas which is probably 20 hours," said Bell.

The low-cost airline based in Las Vegas specializes in flying from smaller airports to vacation destinations. It has suffered a spate of mishaps, including mechanical issues that have caused flights to be diverted or canceled. 

News 6 found out bird strikes happen more than you might think.

In 2014, a pilot said he could have died after a bird slammed right through his windshield near Chicago. The same year, a bird crash through a plane's window when it landed at the Orlando Executive Airport.

News 6 tracked down data from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA shows that planes, even in Central Florida, collided with everything from turkeys, bald eagles, hawks, doves and more.

The Orlando Sanford international airport reporting the most strikes in the past year and a half with 72 strikes. During the same time period, Orlando International Airport reported 66 strikes, Daytona Beach International reported 57 and Melbourne International reported 15 strikes.

To read more data on wildlife strikes visit the FAA data base here.

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