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Aircraft  Land Safely at the Piarco International Airport after Sustaining Bird Strikes

Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (the Authority) hereby advises the media and the public of two bird strikes which recently occurred. 

The first incident took place on Friday April 6th 2012, at 7:58 a.m. when United Airlines Flight UA1459, a Boeing 737, which was destined for Houston ingested a bird into its right engine while taking off. The Captain declared a full emergency and the aircraft returned to the Piarco International Airport. There were one hundred and thirty-eight (138) passengers and six (6) crew members on board, none of whom was injured. Some damage to the engine of the aircraft was reported, necessitating repairs, which will be effected in Trinidad. Affected passengers were rebooked on other flights and have all since departed.

The second strike occurred on Sunday April 8th, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.  on Caribbean Airlines Flight BW524. The Boeing 737 destined for New York had just taken off when it experienced a bird strike at 3900 feet east of Piarco International Airport.  The Captain declared a full emergency and the flight returned to the airport without further incident.  There were one hundred and forty-three (143) passengers and six (6) crew members on board; no one was injured. It was reported that the aircraft sustained engine damage.

On both occasions the Authority activated its full emergency plan alerting all relevant stakeholders. The Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service responded and all appropriate protocols were followed.

A bird strike occurs when a bird comes into contact with an aircraft. The Authority has an ongoing programme of avian abatement, including taking appropriate actions to mitigate the potential for bird strikes at the Piarco and ANR Robinson International Airports. A team from the Aerodrome Safety Department of the Authority is currently conducting investigations into both incidents. 

8th April, 2012            


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