Plane makes emergency landing at DIA after bird strike

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DENVER — An Airbus 320 made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport just after noon Monday.

An airport official said a Virgin America flight bound for San Francisco took off then immediately returned to the airport on the report of a mechanical issue.

Flightaware.com reports the flight took off at 11:56 a.m., reached 10,000 feet, and then descended and landed at DIA just after 12:10 p.m.

Virgin America said in a statement:

Shortly after departure from Denver International Airport, VX Flight 865 en route to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) experienced a bird strike, and pilots returned to the airfield so that the aircraft could be evaluated. As is standard operating procedure in such circumstances and out of an abundance of caution, the captain declared an emergency, but the aircraft continued to operate as normal, and the safety of the passengers and crew was never in question. The flight landed safely at DEN, where maintenance crews are currently inspecting the aircraft. We are working to find alternative travel options for affected guests to get them to their destinations as soon as possible.

There are no further details on the extent of any damage to the aircraft.

There are 5,434 reported bird strikes at DIA from 1995 to 2015. The airport has a wildlife management program as detailed on its website.

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