An American Airlines Airbus A319-100 made an about turn shortly after take-off from St Louis on Monday (02/09/19) due to a bird strike.
Flight AA-944 from Saint Louis Lambert to Miami International took off at 05:41. Shortly after take-off the crew was advised by the Tower controller that one of the engines was “smoking a little bit more than good,” writes Aviation Herald.
Although they were not aware of a bird strike the flight crew responded with a decision to return to St Louis. The pilot climbed the aircraft to 6,000 feet and declared a Mayday. The aircraft returned safely to the airfield 15 minutes later.
On the ground the aircraft (registration N5007E) was assessed for the cause of the smoking engine. Ground staff discovered two compressor blades broken by bird ingestion.
In a statement American Airlines told us the bird(s) had entered the starboard engine but had not caused any other damage. The plane had landed without incident.