Calgary

Bird strike forces flight to Toronto to return to Calgary

A flight from Calgary to Toronto was forced to return to Calgary Sunday after it hit a bird during takeoff.

Plane had to circle for 90 minutes to burn off fuel

A WestJet flight, like the one pictured in this file photo, was forced to return to the Calgary airport after hitting a bird. (Canadian Press)

A flight from Calgary to Toronto was forced to return to Calgary Sunday after it hit a bird during takeoff.

WestJet flight 664 took off from the Calgary airport around 11:30 a.m. when a bird hit the windshield, making visibility difficult, a WestJet spokesperson said. 

The plane, a Boeing 737-800, was diverted back to Calgary for a maintenance inspection, but had to circle for about 90 minutes to burn fuel as to not have an overweight landing.

The passengers have been rebooked on the same flight departing mid-afternoon Sunday, the airline said.

WestJet said bird strikes are a fairly common occurrence.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, around 98,000 bird strikes were reported between 2008-2015 and 91 per cent happened during take off or landing.

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