A Canadair regional jet made an emergency landing at Santa Barbara Airport after striking a flock of geese during takeoff. The Phoenix-bound U.S. Airways Express flight hit the birds at 6:40 a.m. on August 5, then continued its initial climb before circling above the airport to burn off fuel so it would meet weight restrictions for landing.
Upon inspection, mechanics found only minor damage. Nevertheless, the aircraft was ferried-flown without passengers-out of SBA and the passengers were rebooked onto alternate flights throughout the day.
There were 27 strikes recorded in 2006, 19 in 2007, and eight in 2008, according to airport officials. This strike marks the eighth recorded this year-four of which were known solely by the fact that dead birds were found alongside the airport’s three runways.