Plane "kept swerving" after being hit by geese

(CBS News) For the second time in less than a week, a passenger jet taking off from New York had to make an emergency landing after an encounter with some birds.

It happened to a JetBlue plane Tuesday evening.

The aircraft was in the air for a few minutes, but they were an eventful few minutes for the pilots.

JetBlue Flight 571 left for West Palm Beach, Fla. at 6:45 and, shortly after, was struck by at least two birds, forcing a return to the Westchester County Airport.

Two geese crossed in front of the jet and hit into the windshield, obstructing the pilot's view. Though no damage was later found, they declared an emergency and headed back to base to switch planes.

The flight landed shortly after 7:00 and there were no reports of injuries.

The crew and all 54 passengers boarded another plane and took off again for Florida, about two hours later.

"We took off and it was evident we hit something," one passenger said. "The plane kept swerving from left to right."

"Oh, my god," said another. "If that thing (the birds) went into the engine -- it was certainly inconvenient but, in comparison what it could have been, we're good."

Three years ago, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger famously guided a US Airways flight into the Hudson River after birds took out both engines, also on takeoff.

Since that incident, birds have smashed into more than 1,700 flights in New York state alone.

Last Thursday, a flock of at least seven birds crashed into a jetliner's engine, forcing a return to New York's JFK Airport.

To see Jeff Glor's report, click on the video in the player above.

  • Jeff Glor

    Jeff Glor was named anchor of the Sunday edition of the "CBS Evening News" in January 2012 and Special Correspondent for "CBS This Morning" in November 2011.