Plane hits coyote while taking off from Wilmington airport

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) — A plane hit a coyote while taking off from Wilmington International Airport Monday night, according to Airport Director Julie Wilsey.

The American Airlines flight, which was headed to Charlotte, was scheduled to take off around 8 p.m. But ten minutes later, the flight crew reported hitting wildlife on the runway.

The plane was able to successfully take off, circle back to the runway, and land safely, Wilsey said. No one was injured in the incident, but the coyote was killed. The flight was canceled and passengers were rebooked.

American Airlines mechanics are checking over the plane Tuesday, according to Wilsey.

Wilsey said the airport has a wildlife mitigation program they implement to routinely track and harass any wildlife near the airport grounds. It’s unknown at this time how the coyote got on the runway.

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