Plane en route to RSW hits bird, returned to Pittsburgh

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Airplane passengers on their way to Southwest Florida International Airport received a big scare when their plane was forced to turn around and head back to Pittsburgh.

Passenger Bill Puschaver says he was sitting on board when he heard an unfamiliar noise.

“It felt like the landing gear was making a loud noise, like it malfunctioning,” Puschaver said.

A few rows behind Puschaver, sat Mary Fensel, who says she heard the same thing but saw an interesting sight outside her window.

“It was really crazy, but they said, ‘Hey, we hit a flock of geese,'” Fensel said.

Shortly after taking off from Pittsburgh International Airport, the Southwest Airlines flight hit a bird and the pilot turned the plane around to make an emergency landing at the Pittsburgh airport.

The flight then landed safely without incident in Pittsburgh International Airport, said a Southwest Airlines spokesperson. The aircraft was then removed from service for a maintenance inspection. No injuries were reported.

Southwest Airlines moved all 134 passengers and six crew members on another flight to Fort Myers.

After a three and a half hour delay, passengers were able to board a different plane and fly to Fort Myers.

“It’s amazing,” Paschaver said. “I didn’t think one bird could do that much of a damage, but we’re lucky. It could’ve been worse.”

Passengers say Southwest Airlines also gave out $300 vouchers to use for Southwest flights.

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