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Bird Strike Forces Emergency Landing Of JetBlue Flight In Westchester

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A JetBlue regional plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Westchester County on Tuesday night after encountering a bird strike.

JetBlue Flight 571 was hit by two geese. One landed square on the plane's windshield and was caught in the wipers and obstructed the view from the cockpit, CBS 2's Derricke Dennis reported.

The geese, however, did not strike the engine, JetBlue confirmed to 1010 WINS. The incident did force the flight headed to West Palm Beach, Fla. to turn around and land in White Plains.

The plane, an Embraer 190, landed safely at Westchester County Airport around 6:52 p.m. Fifty four passengers and four crew members were on plane and no one was was injured.

JetBlue said that "the captain elected to return to the gate" because of an "an abundance of caution for safety." Passengers were placed on another plane, shortly after returning to the gate.

The following is a transcript of exchanges between the air traffic controller and the pilot of the plane, courtesy of

Controller: "Flight 571 you are cleared for takeoff."
Pilot: JetBlue 571 we gotta come back, we hit 2 big geese."

Controller: "JetBlue 571, roger and standby"
Controller: "JetBlue 571 - would u like to declare emergency?"

Pilot: "We are declaring an emergency."
Controller: "JetBlue 571 report Westchester County in sight."

Pilot: "Westchester County in sight, JetBlue 571."
Controller: "JetBlue 571, clear visual approach runway 1-6, clear to land."

Pilot: "Clear for visual, 1-6, clear for visual. JetBlue 571."
Controller: "Standby, JetBlue 571 thank you."

Pilot: "Clear to land to land, JetBlue 571, we're just running a quick check list."
Pilot: "JetBlue 571 we're making the turn now for our base."

Controller: "Roger, thank you, continue."
Controller: "I have emergency inbound and it's going to be pretty busy."
Controller: "Proceed on runway 1-6."

Pilot: "Airport 11, taking 1-6."
Controller: "JetBlue 571, nice to have you back."

The emergency had a ripple effect on passengers in the region.

"All of a sudden I start hearing the announcements -- the flight is late, the flight is late, the flight has been diverted," Susan Acker of Stamford, Conn., told CBS 2's Dennis.

Acker said her friend's plane had to go to LaGuardia, after the JetBlue flight's emergency landing forced her plane to circle in the air.

Just last week, a passenger on board a flight out of John F. Kennedy Airport captured incredible video as a flock of geese slammed into the Delta jet's engines.

On Thursday, a flight bound for Los Angeles bound had to make an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy Airport after striking a bird.

Then there was the Miracle on the Hudson on U.S. Airways Flight 1549, which landed in the Hudson River after a bird strike.

Captain Chesley Sullenberger predicted more strikes, especially around LaGuardia, where the city is building two garbage dumps nearby.

"It's a bad idea to build near an airport -- anything that's likely to attract birds," Sullenberger said.

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