A bird collided with a plane Tuesday as the United Airlines jet flew in for a landing at Denver International Airport in an incident that caused no injuries but left a gaping hole in the plane's nose.
United Airlines Flight 1475 was carrying 151 passengers from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport as it made its landing in Denver when the bird collided with the plane. The flight landed safely at around 9:09 a.m.
You can view damage to the plane after the bird collided with the aircraft here.
Aviation expert and pilot Steve Cowen told ABC 7News in Denver that hitting the nose of the aircraft was the best place on the jet the bird could have hit.
"It didn't affect the engines. It didn't affect the landing gear from coming down at all," Cowell told 7News. "Passengers probably wouldn't have felt anything, but the pilot certainly would have heard the smack of the bird on the nose."
It's unclear what type of bird made impact with the Boeing 737. The National Transportation Safety Board said it would investigate the incident.
"If I were to put money on it, I would say it would be a large flocking bird such as a goose or a duck," Kendra Cross, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told 7News. "It could have been more than one bird? We don't know that. We've taken samples off of various parts of the plane that had impact, so we'll be able to determine if it's more than one bird or if it's just one bird."
Col. Stephen Ganyard, an on-air aviation consultant for ABC News, told WXYZ that the United Airlines personnel are equipped for scenarios such as the bird colliding with the plane.
"It's always dangerous when an aircraft hits a bird. In this case, it was something that the crews have been trained to handle," Ganyard said. "The aircraft has redundant systems that can take care of the problems caused by this bird strike."
The station said bird strikes cost the airline industry $600 million in damages a year.