Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue August 18 2015

Bird Strike Forces Emergency Landing in Istanbul

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | August 18, 2015

Bird Strike Forces Emergency Landing in Istanbul

Photo via Twitter

Most people associate storks with the old story about the birds delivering babies, but one Singapore Airlines flight found out the hard way that the large birds can cause series damage to an airplane.

In a report from, Singapore Airlines Flight SQ391 was en route from Istanbul, Turkey, to Singapore Monday when the plane was forced to return to Istanbul Ataturk Airport when the aircraft suffered serious damage after hitting several storks shortly after take-off.

The plane—a Boeing 777-200—departed from Istanbul at 1:30 p.m. local time and was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 5 a.m. local time Tuesday morning. Instead, the Singapore Airlines flight landed once again at Ataturk Airport at 2:40 p.m. local time.

There were 255 passengers and 14 crew members on board the flight during the incident, but the pilots managed to land the plane safely and everyone disembarked without any injuries reported.

The Hurriyet Daily News shared images of the damaged aircraft:

Singapore Airlines booked the passengers into the airport hotel and are sending a new aircraft to the city to complete the flight. Repair crews at the airport have already started the necessary work on the damaged Boeing 777.

The bird strike caused serious damage to the radar dome on the nose cone, as well as significant damage to both engines and other parts of the aircraft.

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