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Plane returns to St. Pete-Clearwater Airport after hitting flock of seagulls on takeoff

A flight out of St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport hit a flock of seagulls Sunday afternoon, forcing it to turn around and come back.

Allegiant Air Flight 882 to Grand Rapids, Mich. struck birds shortly after taking off at 3:35 p.m., according to airport spokeswoman Michele Routh.

The birds were sucked into the right engine, according to Allegiant spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler. The pilots turned around and landed back at the airport so the plane could be inspected for damage.

The plane was swapped out for another, Wheeler said, and its 143 passengers and five crew members took off at 5:34 p.m.

This was the second time in two weeks that flight 882 was delayed for a unique reason. On Aug. 12 the flight skidded off the runway before takeoff, forcing its 142 passengers to spend another day in the Tampa Bay area while the plane was inspected for damage.

Plane returns to St. Pete-Clearwater Airport after hitting flock of seagulls on takeoff 08/26/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 26, 2012 6:28pm]
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