It was a tense moment for the University of South Carolina equestrian team Thursday afternoon as their flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport had to be aborted when the plane encountered a flock of birds.
According to athletics officials, the incident happened as the plane attempted to take off. The pilots immediately applied the brakes at full force and the plane was able to stop on the runway.
The plane's front wheel was off the ground when the strike occurred, but the pilot was able to put it back down safely and abort takeoff. The pilot did see several birds at the time in the area, but the initial word was that only one bird struck the right-side engine.
Fire trucks did respond to the scene, but only to make sure that the brakes were cooling off properly and did not pose a fire risk because of how hot they got when activated.
The passengers stayed on the plane for approximately two hours and were towed back to the terminal.
No one was injured.
The team landed safely in Kansas City later Thursday evening.
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