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A flight departing from Detroit and heading towards Atlanta Saturday was forced to go back to the Motor City after crew members discovered a unique stowaway. Somehow, a bird flew into the cockpit of the Delta plane.
The jetliner was delayed in order for crew members to conduct a search for the unwanted avian guest. After the flight took off, the bird appeared in the cockpit “shortly after takeoff,” according to a Delta spokesperson. The pilot decided to turn the entire flight around back to Detroit, wanting to avoid any distractions while flying the plane. It is unclear what sort of bird forced the plane to turn around, but multiple reports say it was a sparrow.
"Literally an hour into the flight, he goes, 'I have an update that the bird is back and it's going a little nuts in here in the cockpit and we do not feel safe continuing on this flight, so we're going to go back to Detroit,'" Brian Buonassissi, a passenger on the plane, told NBC's local affiliate WDIV.
Shane Perry, however, said that the flight had only been in the air for some five minutes. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the jetliner just flew around the Michigan city for a little while before landing again.
“The explanation was the bird had apparently flown out of some type of hatch under the plane, which seemed strange to me,” Perry told the Washington Post. According to him, the pilot said “we’re going to take off, but if I hear any chirping in the cockpit, I’ll turn around.”
Officials told WDIV that the bird was ultimately found and released back into the cold weather, and the flight went back on its way to Atlanta.