Plane Collides With Bird, Lands Safely

United Airlines jet's fuselage punctured after bird hits nose in midair.
1:52 | 07/31/12

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Transcript for Plane Collides With Bird, Lands Safely
BACK IN THIS COUNTRY A CLOSE CALL IN THE SKY TODAY. A BIRD COLLIDED WITH A PACK THE UNITED AIRLINES JET FLYING INTO DENVER AND THE BIRD PUNCTURED A HOLE IN THE FRONT WITH A GAPING HOLE IN THE NOSE. FORTUNATELY, THE FLIGHT LANDED SAFELY. BUT AS CLAYTON SANDELL REPORTS, BIRD STRIKES ARE A GROWING THREAT. Reporter: IT COULD HAVE BEEN CAT FROFIC. A FEATHERY MIDAIR COLLISION. THIS UNITED 737, WITH 151 PASSENGERS, ON APPROACH TO DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TODAY WHEN IT COLLIDED WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE A LARGE BIRD. THE IMPACT TORE A GIANT DIAMOND-SHAPED HOLE IN THE NOSE, EVEN RIPPING OFF FLIGHT SENSORS. THERE WERE NO INJURIES, BUT THE PILOTS DECLARED AN EMERGENCY. IN APRIL, ANOTHER BIRD STRIKE WAS CAPTURED ON CAMERA, A PASSENGER ON A FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO LOS ANGELES SAW A FLOCK OF BIRDS FLY RIGHT INTO AN ENGINE. OF COURSE, WHO COULD FORGET WHEN CANADA GEESE BROUGHT DOWN SULLY SULLENBERGER'S U.S. AIR FLIGHT INTO THE HUDSON RIVER. IT'S ALWAYS DANGEROUS WHEN AN AIRCRAFT HITS A BIRD. IN THIS CASE IT WAS SOMETHING THAT THE CREWS HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO HANDLE, THE AIRCRAFT HAS REDUNDANT SYSTEMS THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY THIS BIRD STRIKE. Reporter: BIRD STRIKES COST THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY $600 MILLION IN DAMAGE EVERY YEAR. THAT'S WHY AT DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, KENDRA CROSS IS ONE OF FOUR FULL TIME EMPLOYEES USING EXPLOSIVE CHARGES TO SCARE BIRDS AWAY FROM BUSY RUNWAYS. WHO ARE WHAT IS CALLED A BANGER, AND IT PRODUCES A LOUD BURST OR A BANG TO GET THEIR WINGS FLAPPING A LITTLE FASTER AND KEEP THEM OUT OF HARM'S WAY. Reporter: OFFICIALS SAY THEY KNOW THIS PLANE WAS HIT BY A LARGE SPECIES BIRD BUT THEY ARE NOT SURE WHAT TYPE. THEY'VE COLLECTED TISSUE SAMPLES AND WILL SEND THEM TO THE SMITHSONIAN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., WHERE EXPERTS SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE A POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION. DIANE?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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