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VP Pence’s jet makes emergency landing after hitting bird

Vice President Mike Pence arrives at Peterson Air Force Base on Air Force Two before giving a graduation address at the Air Force Academy on April 18, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images/TNS)

The plane carrying Vice President Mike Pence made an emergency landing shortly after striking a bird on Tuesday night, returning to the New Hampshire airport from where it had just taken off.

No one aboard Air Force Two, as the jet carrying the vice president is designated, was hurt in the episode, according to a White House official and an incident report viewed by Bloomberg.

Pilots on the modified Boeing Co. 757 declared an emergency shortly after 7 p.m. local time, the report said. The jet returned to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Bird strikes rarely cause crashes, and U.S. aviation regulations require that aircraft and engines be able to withstand impacts with them. But they can shatter windscreens, heavily damage wings or snuff out engines in extreme cases.

A US Airways flight departing from New York’s LaGuardia Airport in January 2009 struck a flock of geese, damaging both engines and forcing the pilots to touch down in the Hudson River. No one was killed and the plane’s captain, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, became a national hero.

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Tuesday’s incident isn’t the first aviation accident involving Pence. A jet he was riding on skidded off a runway at LaGuardia in October 2016 shortly before he was elected. The plane had landed too far down the runway.

A plane carrying President Donald Trump had a close encounter with a small drone on Aug. 16, according to people on Air Force One who saw the device.

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.