A Southwest Airlines flight struck a coyote during takeoff at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) and was forced to return to the airport.
Southwest Airlines flight 1221 was destined for Chicago’s Midway International Airport (MDW) earlier this week when it struck a coyote during its takeoff sequence at North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
According to a local NBC news channel, the crew reported a potential wildlife strike during takeoff and later returned to the airport for inspection.
The Chicago-bound flight had 149 passengers and 6 crew members and no injuries were reported during the incident. After inspection, the plane was cleared to continue and eventually departed for its destination without further incident.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to investigate the incident.
Often, bird strikes are a real concern for departing planes, and it’s rare, but not impossible to strike a coyote or other forms of wildlife. Several years ago an aircraft struck a deer at the Charlotte airport and in 2015 a plane hit a moose.