March 28, 2019 1:38 pm

Air Canada flight forced to land at Ottawa airport due to bird strike

Air Canada file photo.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
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An Air Canada flight was forced to make a speedy landing at MacDonald-Cartier International Airport early Thursday morning after striking a flock of birds.

According to Air Canada, Flight AC 342 from Vancouver to Ottawa made contact with birds on its descent into the airport.

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“As per our operating procedures airport services were called and the aircraft landed safely,” said Air Canada spokesperson Isabelle Arthur.

At the time of the collision, there were 170 passengers and 8 crew members on board the Airbus 321, which is now in maintenance.

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The Ottawa airport authority said that while they could not comment on the circumstances of the landing they were on site with their emergency response crews to safely escort passengers and crew from the plane.

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According to the authority, strikes like this are very uncommon and they have a comprehensive and extensive bird and wildlife management program.

Spokeswoman Krista Kealey says their group of “birdmen” monitor the airport constantly in order to scare any problem birds away.

Tools such as noisemakers and even trained falcons are used to deter birds from the area.

“Thankfully it turned out well, it’s very rare that this happens,” said Kealey.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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