An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was forced to return to the airport this afternoon after it struck a large bird, according to a spokesman.
Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said Flight 2460 was bound for Bozeman, Mont., when it reported the bird strike shortly after takeoff at 1:45 p.m. The pilot turned the twin-engine plane around and landed safely about 2:08 p.m. The remains of the bird were still attached to the nose of the aircraft.
Alaska Airline spokesman Paul McElroy says the bird went through the skin of the nose of the plane, which is a Bombardier Q 400 operated by Alaska subsidiary Horizon Air.
McElroy says the 65 passengers on board were scheduled to take off in another plane around 3:20 p.m., scheduled to arrive in Bozeman around 6 p.m.
Neither Cooper nor McElroy knew what kind of bird was killed in the collision.