Air Force Two, carrying Vice President Mike Pence, was forced to make an emergency landing after a bird strike shortly after takeoff.
Air Force Two Bird Strike
The incident occurred shortly after takeoff last night in Manchester, New Hampshire, where the Vice President was campaigning. After taking off at 7:30pm ET, the plane, a modified Boeing 757, struck at least one bird.
An onlooker captured video of the bird strike and resulting smoke and sparks the flew from the right engine:
After returning to Manchester Airport (MHT), the crew…and the Vice President…stepped off the aircraft to inspect the damage. Shortly thereafter, Pence stepped back on the aircraft to await alternate travel arrangements.
Daniel Cerritos, a student pilot, captured the video above. He told WMUR:
“I asked everyone around me if anyone caught that and everyone said, ‘No.’ They didn’t. So then, I looked back at the video, and it actually shows what appears to be a bird ingested into the engine of the aircraft.”
Meanwhile, Pence and his entourage eventually took a cargo plane back to Joint Base Andrews just outside of Washington, DC.
Bird strikes are not a rare occurrence–on average, 39 occur per day–but are rare for Air Force Two. The 757 is currently not airworthy and undergoing repairs in New Hampshire.