An American Airlines regional jet was forced to make an emergency landing after it struck a deer on takeoff.
American Airlines Flight 5320 was departing Charlotte Douglas International Airport around noon on Wednesday when the pilot declared an emergency. After authorities inspected the runway, the aircraft turned back and landed safely. The Bombardier CRJ-700, operated by American’s regional affiliate PSA Airlines, was carrying 44 passengers and four crew to Gulfport, Mississippi. No injuries were reported.
Wheels up, deer down. Crew and staff have been total pros at @CLTAirport after AA5320 deer strike. pic.twitter.com/wLz9V5ijQJ— Matt Van Brink (@DrSchnitzel) February 15, 2017
American Airlines told local news station WCNC that the jet was leaking fuel after the incident. Footage also shows damage to the right leading-edge slat.
After emergency personnel sprayed the jet with foam as a precaution, passengers deplaned on the runway and were bused back to the airport terminal, where they were accommodated with another plane, about five hours behind schedule. The deer strike delayed several flights, but local news stations report that normal operations resumed by 2 p.m.