By David Owens, The Hartford Courant

A Southwest Airlines flight descending into Bradley International Airport struck a bird about 25 miles south of the airport, airline and airport officials said.

The crew on board Southwest Flight 2102 reported hearing a loud popping sound and declared an emergency, said Paul Flaningan, a spokesman for Southwest. The aircraft, a Boeing 737 en route from Tampa, landed without incident.

The plane was checked briefly and officials on the ground determined the incident was a bird strike. The aircraft then continued on to the gate. There were 125 passengers on board when the incident occurred about 2 p.m.

Bird strikes are fairly uncommon, Flaningan said, but do occur. The 737 will be out of service until repairs are made, he said.

The most famous recent bird strike incident occurred Jan. 15, 2009 to US Airways Flight 1549, which experience a bird strike as it climbed out of LaGuardia Airport in New York. The Airbus A320 lost thrust in its engines and Capt. Chesley Sullenberger put the stricken aircraft down in the Hudson River. All aboard were saved in what has become known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Full story, here.

The Federal Aviation Preliminary Accident and Incident Notices database advises of at least three bird strikes in the past ten days, this information can be found, here.  The FAA provides preliminary accident and incident information reported to the Office of Accident Investigation & Prevention within the past 10 business days. All information is preliminary and subject to change.

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