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United Airlines Jetliner To San Francisco Hits Birds, Returns To Sydney

March 29, 1996

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ A United Airlines jetliner bound for San Francisco landed safely after it hit a flock of birds and damaged one engine following take-off from Sydney on Friday, an airline spokesman said.

United Airlines spokesman Maurie Tye said Flight 862, carrying 409 passengers as well as crew, hit the birds minutes after takeoff from Sydney airport.

The Boeing 747 dumped fuel as it circled for more than an hour over the Pacific Ocean before it returned to the airport.

There were no reports of injuries.

Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio reported that residents beneath the plane’s flight path heard a series of loud explosions. Some saw flames coming from one of the aircraft’s engines.

Tye said the pilot did not request an emergency landing and there were no reports of injuries.