SFO flight makes emergency landing after potential bird strike during takeoff

Photo of Grant Marek
File photo of the SkyTerrace at SFO, which allows planespotters to tracks flights at an intersection of four runways.

File photo of the SkyTerrace at SFO, which allows planespotters to tracks flights at an intersection of four runways.

Silas Valentino/SFGATE

United Airlines Flight 1189 made an emergency landing at San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday morning just 10 minutes after takeoff because of a possible bird strike, United Airlines confirmed with SFGATE on Wednesday.

Bound for Cabo San Lucas, the flight took off at 9:12 a.m., headed southwest over the San Francisco Bay, then, just after crossing over state Route 92, circled immediately back to SFO and landed at 9:22 a.m., according to FlightAware.

"United flight 1189 returned to the airport shortly after takeoff after experiencing a potential bird strike," United Airlines spokesperson Charles Hobart confirmed in an email to SFGATE.

One report said radio chatter indicated the bird may have caused an issue with the plane's No. 2 engine, but United Airlines wouldn't confirm the report.

According to United Airlines, the flight did land safely though, and a replacement plane had already taken off just before noon headed for Cabo San Lucas without incident.

The emergency landing proved to be really the only major travel blip Wednesday morning. As of midday, travel was running relatively smoothly out of SFO on the day before Thanksgiving, generally regarded as one of the busiest travel days of the entire year.

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