A drop in damage as aircraft bird strike reports climb, FAA data show

Moments after United Flight 1738 took off from O’Hare International Airport on the clear morning of Thursday, June 1, passenger Drew Tewksbury heard a thud. The plane tilted left, then leveled out.

Tewksbury, 48, an insurance executive from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, said the plane’s right engine started making the sound of a car driving down a highway with a flat tire.

“Within 30 seconds, someone in the back said, ‘Hey, there’s flames coming out’,” he said.

Bound for Miami, the twin-engine Boeing 737-900 suffered a bird strike. According to air traffic control recordings, pilots said the plane struck a flock of geese.

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