A man aboard a Delta flight out of JFK yesterday afternoon decided to videotape the takeoff with his iPad, and managed to capture harrowing footage of the bird strike that forced the pilot to make an emergency landing back at the airport. Grant Cardone, a motivational speaker, says he had a "crazy intuition" to videotape the takeoff, during which you see the birds being engulfed by the right engine, making a sound "like a smartcar being consumed through the engine," as he puts it. Here's video:
Another passenger aboard the LA-bound Boeing 757, CNN anchor Ali Velshi, tells NY1, "We had just taken off, it was a few seconds in, and there was this grinding noise. You know, you typically hear the landing gear coming in, it was something very different from that and it was, the plane started shaking. Then moments later, you started to see smoke filling up the cabin." In an interview with an LA news show, Cardone says the cabin "smelled like barbecue chicken back in Louisiana, when you put too much lighter fluid on it."
Luckily, the engine did not catch fire, and was still functional. Nevertheless, the pilot did a U-turn and brought the plane back for "one of the rougher landings I've had," according to Cardone. Here's his video of that!
Judging by the applause and cheering after the landing, it sounds like everybody was extremely relieved to be back on terra firma in one piece. And it's a safe bet that many of the 172 passengers on board were trying not to think about another flight that ran into birds during takeoff—and ended up crash landing in the Hudson River.