Updated: 04/15/2014 6:13 PM
Created: 04/15/2014 5:19 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
They pollinate, they buzz, they sometimes sting, but what sort of damage can bees do to a plane?
"I mean you hear about hitting birds, but not bees!" exclaimed Allegiant Flight 448 passenger Cassandra Rogers.
They can seemingly do enough damage to turn a plane around. An Allegiant spokesperson said the Duluth-bound flight returned to Las Vegas shortly after takeoff due to a swarm of bees clouding the windshield and being ingested into the engines.
Rogers said they didn't feel anything, but the plane's cabin immediately began to smell. Passenger Misty Newman said some on the plane began to panic.
"Right as the plane lifted it just stunk, like the plane was on fire. It smelled like the whole cabin was on fire," she said.
Another passenger, Sandy Dinehart, said it was awful, the smell of sulfur filled the cabin.
They weren't in the air very long before the pilot came over the intercom, saying they had hit a bird and they'd have to turn around, said Newman.
"When we landed the fire department and the cops were waiting and they took off along the runway after us," she said.
On the tarmac, they were surrounded by emergency vehicles. Many passengers said it was almost like a movie.
"It was a little scary coming back into Vegas, you don't know what kind of damage was done," Dinehart said.
They got off the plane, onto another, and that's when they learned what they had really hit.
"We thought he [the pilot] was joking when he said ,'I've never had that happen before. We hit thousands of bees," said Rogers.
The flight ended up getting to Duluth about two hours late.
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