Plane carrying National Guard Chief plows into flock of birds mid-air

An airplane carrying the highest-ranking National Guard member was forced to land shortly after takeoff after colliding with a flock of birds.

The government aircraft was carrying Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when it plowed into the group of birds just past 5 p.m. Monday, CNN reported.

The plane had taken off from Chicago’s Midway International Airport just moments earlier — the wheels were in the process of being tucked away when the bird strike occurred, video of the incident shows.

A spark can be seen flickering from the aircraft’s left engine as the plane smacks into the middle of the flock.


The military C-37

, reserved for high-ranking government and Department of Defense officials, safely returned to the Chicago airport, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.

There were no reported injuries of those on board, though the same likely can’t be said for the birds.

A plane carrying the Chief of the National Guard Bureau Gen. Daniel Hokanson struck a flock of birds shortly after taking off in Chicago on Nov. 21, 2022.
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Hokanson had been in Chicago to visit military leaders and area business figures to “discuss the skills National Guard service members bring to the workforce,” and made a trip to Chicago State University, the Illinois National Guard said.

The National Guard did not respond to requests for comment by The Post.