A cargo plane flying out of San Francisco International Airport struck a bird Saturday and returned to the air strip after dumping fuel, but nobody was hurt and no serious damage was detected, officials said.
The China Air 747 cargo plane hit the bird shortly after taking off and landed at the airport without incident, said Jeff Figone, the airport duty manager.
“It’s an FAA rule that when something hits the plane they have to come back to the airport for inspection,” Figone said. “They go off over the ocean and dump fuel (as a precaution), so they will be lighter.”
The airplane did not appear to have suffered any damage, he said, but airport officials must nevertheless conduct a thorough inspection of the craft before it is allowed to continue.
“They’ll gas it up and she’ll be going again,” he said. “Unfortunately, the poor bird probably met his maker.”