San Diegan Todd Sturtz thought he would be in Houston in time for his business lunch date when his United Airlines flight 1451 pulled out of Lindbergh Field on the morning of May 9.
Within minutes after takeoff, the captain came on the intercom and said, "We were struck by a bird on takeoff and we're circling around and going to land immediately."
Upon landing, there were fire trucks and ambulances waiting for a possible emergency. Once everything was cleared, the United flight took off again in a couple of hours.
"They inspected the plane — not only because of the bird, but it was considered a less than ideal overweight landing [due to the weight of the fuel].”
A half-hour into the second leg of Todd's flight, he heard the captain come on the intercom to say, "We'll be landing in the Phoenix airport because some critical equipment is down, possibly due to the bird."
"We made another harsh landing at Sky Harbor and there were fire trucks and ambulances again waiting for us.... We got off the plane and I went with Delta airlines. Needless to say, I missed my lunch date today."