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Three northeast flights in the USA impacted by bird strikes

Three separate bird strike incidents in the northeast USA in the past 24h have caused schedule delays or damage for three airlines.

At approximately 18:30EST on 10 March, a Continental Airlines Boeing 777-200 departing New York's Newark airport for Hong Kong hit a flock of birds shortly after take off from runway 22. Continental flight 99, with 301 passengers and crew, returned to the airport for a safe landing about 90min later after entering holding pattern at 14,000ft (4,267m) to the southwest of the airport to burn fuel.

A US FAA spokesman says the aircraft hit the birds as it climbed through 300ft. After landing, the crew taxied to the gate, where maintenance crews determined that the aircraft's left engine had ingested birds. The aircraft returned to service on 11 March after required borescope inspections revealed no damage to the engine, says a Continental spokeswoman. The airline offered hotel accommodations to the passengers and crew overnight and completed the route with a different aircraft this morning.

Also on 10 March, a Chautauqua Airlines Embraer ERJ-135 hit a flock of birds after departing runway 23 at the Norfolk airport en route to Washington National airport. According to the FAA, Chautauqua flight 2034 continued its flight after the incident, safely landing in Washington with fire and rescue services awaiting the arrival. The FAA says damage was limited to "a couple of bent fan blades" in the left engine and minor damage to the left wing.

Early on 11 March, a US Airways Airbus A319 with 124 passengers and crew hit a flock of birds on departure from runway 22 at the Greater Rochester International airport and immediately returned for landing. The pilots of flight 1101, en route to Charlotte, reported hitting "a whole flock" of birds after departure, telling controllers that the engines continued to perform normally, though the right engine was indicating high exhaust gas temperatures. The aircraft landed safely.

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