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Southwest flight returns to Cuba after striking birds

Southwest Flyer Points
Posted at 12:39 PM, Mar 06, 2023

A Southwest Airlines flight departing Havana, Cuba, had to return to the airport shortly after takeoff after reportedly experiencing bird strikes.

Southwest flight 3823 was scheduled to fly from Havana to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday when the incidents were first reported.

The strikes reportedly affected the nose of the aircraft and one of the plane's engines.

Southwest said the pilots were safely able to land the plane. There were 147 customers and six crew members onboard who had to evacuate via slides due to smoke in the cabin, Southwest said in a statement.

"Our Technical Operations Team is reviewing the aircraft to evaluate the damage," Southwest said.

The carrier said it refunded the passengers and provided them with contact information for additional support. Other arrangements were made to get the travelers to Fort Lauderdale.

No major injuries to any of the passengers or crew members were reported.

Bird strikes are not uncommon. They are reported in the FAA Wildlife Strike Database. Southwest has reported 14 bird strikes this year.