WestJet flight bound for Toronto returned to Calgary after hitting bird

A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An airplane and its 165 passengers were forced to turn back to Calgary on Tuesday afternoon after the plane hit a bird.

According to WestJet, flight WS660 bound for Toronto struck a bird when taking off and as a precaution, turned around landed back in Calgary. Emergency vehicles were also called as a precaution, WestJet said.

The plane was taken out of service for a maintenance inspection and the passengers were brought back to the gate to await a different flight. There were no injuries reported and the plane had a safe landing.

It’s expected the passengers will be departing at 2:30 p.m., spokesperson Morgan Bell said, making for about a five-hour delay.

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Bell said the maintenance inspection is routine after a bird strike, adding that a bird can do considerable damage to an aircraft. Bell did not know whether the plane in Tuesday’s incident sustained any damage.

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Bell said passengers often don’t know the plane they’re on has hit a bird, and said there were no reports of commotion on Tuesday when WS660 hit the bird.

The Calgary Airport Authority confirmed a plane was turned around “as a precaution,” but did not provide any more details.

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