Birds strike plane after takeoff from Hartsfield-Jackson

About 50 passengers were delayed en route to Mobile, Ala., on a Delta flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when their plane was struck by birds.

The birds struck a CRJ-200 aircraft shortly after takeoff early Thursday morning, said Allison Baker, a spokeswoman for ASA, a regional carrier which was operating the flight.

"There was no malfunction," said Baker. "The pilot heard the impact and he immediately let the tower team and the ASA staff members in our maintenance department know."

Baker said the pilot burned off some of the plane's fuel before landing safely back at the Atlanta airport

"It's standard procedure," she said. "Our pilots are very well trained with these situations, and he returned safely to Atlanta without any incidents."

According to Baker, it was not immediately clear what part of the airplane the birds hit. She said she did not know what kind of birds were involved.

"Our maintenance department is still investigating the matter," she said.

- Maria Jose Subiria