Just before noon this morning, an airplane leaving Charlotte struck a large deer on its right wing during takeoff. At around 12:15pm, the captains of CRJ 700 jet declared an emergency after they noticed they were leaking fuel.
They landed back at the Charlotte Douglas Airport where they were greeted by a squad of emergency vehicles.
Here are some pictures that one of the passengers took while in the air and while being evacuated:
— Matt Van Brink (@DrSchnitzel) February 15, 2017
Here’s the footage captured by local ABC affiliate:
According to American Airline officials, 44 passengers were on the plane at the time of the accident. Everyone was evacuated and shuttled back to the terminal as soon as the plane landed.
The airport then shut down runway 36, while continuing to operate the rest of the airport as usual. The runway re-opened just after 2pm.
Today’s incident is now the sixth time a deer has collided with a plane at the Charlotte Douglas Airport since 1994, according to the FAA.
The last time it happened was back in October 2010, when a Boeing 737 struck a white-tailed buck and suffered minor damage to it’s wing.
Due the increased development in West Charlotte, deer sightings have continued to increase around the airport. Some airlines are even now installing deer sirens on the front of aircraft as an extra precaution (similar to the deer warning sirens used on cars).