Passengers coming into and leaving from JFK airport have put up with all kinds of delays -- weather, late connections, crowded airspace -- but this delay may have been a first.
One runway was shut down Wednesday morning because 78 turtles were walking on it.
According to the New York Port Authority, the turtles measured about 8 inches long and weighed 2 to 3 pounds. They were eventually shooed away and returned to the Jamaica wetlands from whence they came. But there were delays of up to an hour. The turtles also caused delays at La Guardia. NBC News correspondent Anne Thompson, who was on a flight from Raleigh to La Guardia, reports that the pilot on her flight announced that all flights were delayed throughout the New York area because of crowded airspace caused by the wayward reptiles.
Michael Horowicz NBC
Photo: Huffington Post
Gravity always wins!
I hate to think how much damage a turtle shell could do to an idling jet engine, let alone one at takeoff thrust.
Apparently this has happened before Twitter and Facebook and the story never went anywhere. Now a story like this goes viral and every newscast on the planet reports it as the "feel good" clip 1:30 min before end of news.
There has been about 50 bird strikes at JFK in 2011, including an "unknown bird" strike on an Emirates A-380.
"Jets hit turtles a few times each year at JFK, usually in the final days of June or beginning of July, according to FAA. There have been no recent reports of the strikes causing any damage to an airplane."