wplg logo

Spirit flight bound for Fort Lauderdale forced to evacuate after striking bird

A Spirit Airlines flight heading to South Florida had to be evacuated Saturday in New Jersey.
A Spirit Airlines flight heading to South Florida had to be evacuated Saturday in New Jersey.

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – A Spirit Airlines flight heading to South Florida had to be evacuated Saturday in New Jersey.

According to the airline, the plane hit a bird during takeoff from Atlantic City International Airport.

The pilot stopped the plane and ordered passengers to evacuate because of a potential engine problem.

In video of the incident, black smoke and even fire can be seen coming from one of the jet’s engines.

Spirit Airlines issued a statement, which read, in part:

“The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with out standard procedures. All guests and Team Members evacuated the aircraft and were bussed back to the terminal.”

A total of 102 passengers and seven crew members were evacuated.

No injuries were reported.

The flight was heading to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

In the video, passengers are seen moving down the inflatable slide to get off the plane while others walked around the tarmac.

Spirit said all passengers will receive a full refund and a voucher for a future flight.


About the Authors:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.