American Airlines Plane Lands Safely at DFW Airport After Apparent Bird Strike

Animal remains sent to Smithsonian for identification

An American Airlines flight departing Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport returned to the airport Tuesday night due to what appears to be a bird strike.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, the airline said AA Flight 1017 had 182 passengers on board and six crew members when a bird struck the left engine of the twin-engine Boeing 757-200.

The pilot turned the aircraft around and landed safely at DFW.

David Magana, with DFW Airport, told NBC 5 that the airport received remains collected from the aircraft on Tuesday evening and that they have filed a strike report with the Federal Aviation Administration.   He added that the remains were going to be sent to the Smithsonian Feather and DNA Lab for identification.

Frank Librio with the city of Dallas confirms a report in the Dallas Morning News that several City Council members were on board the flight headed to the National League of Cities conference.  Librio said the council members boarded another plane, along with the rest of the passengers from Flight 1017, and flew to Seattle Tuesday night.

In September, an NBC 5 investigation revealed DFW Airport reported more cases of airplanes hitting wildlife than almost any other airport in the country. DFW Airport reported 323 wildlife strikes last year - nearly one incident per day. Only Denver International Airport reported more in 2012. But among the five busiest airports in the United States, DFW is the only one where the number of strikes reported has come down in recent years -- including a 4 percent drop in strikes reported since 2009.

According to FAA data reported by NBC 5 Investigates, planes hit birds at Love Field five times a month, on average, in 2012. Since 1990 there have been 630 reported bird strikes at the airport involving more than 400 Southwest Airlines jets. And 87 strikes hit pigeons, gulls, ducks, geese or "large birds" not specifically identified.

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