Plane 'Encountered' Bird, Burst Into Flames at Takeoff

Spirit Airlines passengers and crew are fine after bird strike Saturday evening
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2021 2:10 PM CDT
Plane 'Encountered' Bird, Bursts Into Flame at Takeoff
A Spirit Airlines jet takes off-which is more than Spirit Airlines flight 3044 from Atlantic City managed to do Saturday night after it "encountered" a bird on takeoff.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Everyone says the hard part is landing. Well, some people say the hard part is the time spent shoeless in the TSA line. But nobody ever says the hard part is when you’re almost off the ground when a bird strikes the planes engine, which catches fire, ends your flight, and closes the whole airport for hours. Atlantic City is known for gambling, but nobody would take the odds on that one. A Spirit Airlines spokesperson told Fox News that a plane bound for Fort Lauderdale “encountered” a bird while speeding up to take off from the Atlantic City airport. “Encountered” is a very calm, neutral word considering what happened was the engine burst into flames. The pilot safely braked to a stop on the runway, and all 102 people on board, both passengers and crew, were evacuated, WPVI-TV reports.

Two passengers were treated for minor injuries, but everyone was more or less okay except for the bird that “encountered” the engine. The plane, Spirit Airlines flight 3044, was supposed to fly to Florida, leaving just before 6pm, but the airport shut down for hours afterward. Spirit Airlines said in a statement that they offered everyone an alternate flight, a travel voucher, and a refund. It’s not the best payout anyone has ever gotten in Atlantic City, but travelers did at least get a shot at making their journeys after a short delay—and a really good story to tell at their destination. (More weird news stories.)

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