Takeoff halted after eagle engine strike

Posted: Monday, August 09, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Alaska Airlines says a flight was aborted after an eagle was sucked into the jet's engine as the aircraft began taking off from a small Southeast Alaska town.

Airline spokesman Paul McElroy says Flight 68 was approaching takeoff speed when the eagle was ingested into the left engine shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday in Sitka.

None of the 134 passengers or five crew members was hurt in the mishap, which automatically shut off the engine of the 737-400.

McElroy says the jet braked to a stop about 3,000 feet from the end of the 6,500-foot runway, then taxied back to the terminal with its single working engine.

The airline was sending a replacement plane from Anchorage to continue the flight to Seattle later Sunday.

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