Plane headed for Las Vegas hits pigeons

A Northwest Airlines flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas hit a flock of pigeons shortly after takeoff Saturday, forcing the pilots to return to Minneapolis. No one was hurt.

Metropolitan Airports Commission spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski said the pilots hit roughly 15 pigeons about 2:40 p.m. Saturday while departing from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

She said the pilots radioed that they had to come back and were granted immediate permission.

Northwest Flight 195 had 202 passengers and seven crew members aboard, an airline spokeswoman said. The passengers were moved to another Northwest flight.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the Boeing 757’s nose dome was damaged. There appeared to be little danger of the birds getting sucked into the engines, he said.

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