This Is What A Bird Strike Can Do To A Plane's Engine

A pilot on a Virgin America flight from San Francisco to New York this weekend declared an emergency during landing after two birds hit one of the engines on the Airbus plane.

According to ABC 7, the pilot smelled smoke in the cockpit, and emergency crews met the plane on the runway. It landed safely and no one was injured — except, presumably, the two birds. They also did quite a number on the engine, as photos obtained by ABC show:

Bird strikes are a common risk for planes taking off and landing. In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of geese as it climbed out of LaGuardia Airport, taking out both engines and leading pilot Chelsey Sullenberger to land the plane in the Hudson River.

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