Bird strike causes brief scare at Dubuque airport

Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 2:35 AM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A bird strike caused a passenger jet to have to abort a landing and declare an emergency landing Sunday night at the Dubuque Regional Airport.

Airport officials told TV9 the American Airlines flight from Chicago O’Hare into Dubuque struck a bird as it was approaching to land around 9:25 pm Sunday night. That forced the pilots to pull back up and circle back to try to land again. The airport declared an emergency landing as a precaution because of the bird strike, putting emergency vehicles on standby. Pilots were able to land the plane safely a few minutes later.

Bird strikes are fairly common for aircraft. The FAA reported more than 17,000 in 2019 alone, 61% of them during landing. A bird strike caused the famous miracle on the Hudson in New York City when US Air Flight 1549 struck a flock of birds and pilot Sully Sullenberger crash landed the jet into the Hudson River and all 150 passengers and 3 flight crew on board survived. The incident inspired a movie where Tom Hanks portrayed Sullenberger.

The incident comes in the final days of American Airlines’ service in Dubuque. The airline’s final flights in and out of Dubuque are Wednesday. The airline operates two flights daily between Chicago O’Hare and Dubuque but announced in June it would end the service, citing a pilot shortage.