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Plane lands safely after costly bird strike

Sitka's problem with bird strikes at its airport improved after eagle nests were removed, but the problem occurred again over the weekend.

The Sitka Sentinel reports an Alaska Airlines jet with 80 passengers sucked a bird, possibly a seagull, into its right engine Sunday on its approach to Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport. The jet landed safely, but the damaged engine is destined for a $1 million overhaul.

A company flight crew in August 2010 aborted a takeoff 2,000 feet from the end of the runway after it hit an eagle, which caused $2.9 million in damage to a jet.

State Department of Transportation safety and security officer Paul Khera says there have been at least five bird strikes since Aug. 24.

Anchorage Daily News