Southwest Airlines jet declared an emergency over BWI

A Southwest airliner headed to the Washington DC area in the United States declared an emergency Friday night after being struck by a bird.

Southwest Airlines jet declared an emergency over BWI

A Southwest airliner headed to the Washington DC area in the United States declared an emergency Friday night after being struck by a bird. It landed safely at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

The Anne Arundel County fire department said it was called about a plane “in distress near Gibson Island,” which is in the Chesapeake Bay about 15 miles southeast of BWI (British West Indies). The nature of the distress connected with the Southwest Airlines flight was not reported.

However, a Baltimore media outlet said one of its viewers reported that the plane appeared to be burning.

The pilot of the plane “declared an emergency,” Southwest airline said in a statement. Flight 3118 which originated in San Antonio, made a safe landing about 8:40 p.m. authorities said.

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Southwest said the plane carried 142 passengers and a crew of five. The plane was scheduled to go on to Detroit, the airline said. However, it was taken out of service to be inspected, the airline added.

Bird strikes are a significant concern to the aviation industry.
Details of the bird strike were not available Friday night.

Most strikes occur relatively close to the ground; however, according to the report, 43 per cent of the damaging strikes occur at or above 500 feet from the ground.

With west winds reported at BWI Friday night around the time of the scheduled landing, the plane may have been on or about to make its final landing approach when it was sseen in the Gibson Island area.

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