A Spirit Airlines plane caught fire at Atlantic City International Airport as flight 3044 prepared to fly to Fort Lauderdale, after a bird flew into one of its engines shortly before takeoff. A total of 102 passengers and seven crew members had to be evacuated. Two people suffered minor injuries. “Our guests will receive full refunds, a future travel voucher and the option of traveling to Fort Lauderdale on another plane tonight,” the company said after incident. Video posted online by the Lakewood Scoop appeared to show passengers deplaning through an inflatable slide out of the plane door. The airport remained closed hours after the fire as officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board investigated the incident. “We’re closely monitoring an aircraft incident that happened tonight at @ACYAirport,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Saturday evening. “We commend our crew for handling the situation swiftly and safely,” Spirit airlines declared.
The most tragic bird strike accident so far,claimingthe lives of 62 passengers,was that of the Lock-heed Electra L-188 plane, which crashed during take-off from Boston airport when threeengines (Allison 501D) failed after a collisionwith a herd of starlings. The average cost of removing the effects of a collision between a passenger aircraft and birds is US$235,000 if damage is detected and US$22,000 if there is no damage (inspection costs, cancelled flight, etc.). Most accidents occur when a bird (or birds) collides with the windscreen or is sucked into the engine of jet aircraft. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide.