Eagles head coach Andy Reid is with a group of NFL coaches in the Persian Gulf visiting the U.S. troops as part of a USO tour.¬† They encountered a scare yesterday when their plane hit a bird on take-off and had to make a quick landing so that the damage could be inspected.
The NFL Director of Community Affairs, David Krichavsky, who is accompanying the coaches put his account of the incident on PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
“Everyone then settled into their seats, and our plane headed down the runway and got airborne.¬† After climbing in the sky for only 30-60 seconds though, there was a solid thump on the right side of the airplane.¬† Then the ‘load masters’ (airmen who are responsible for the cargo in a plane) who were in the cabin of the C17 with us started running around the plane and looking out the windows a bit frantically. Something was clearly amiss.¬†¬† A minute later, one of the pilots came on the load speaker and announced, ‘We hit a bird on take-off.¬† We don’t know what damage has been done to the plane.¬† We are currently circling and will be landing back at Ramstein soon.’
“Although 3 of the 4 coaches were up in the cockpit and none of them — including Coach Reid –¬† had any control over the plane, Coach Reid got all the abuse for this accident.¬† As soon as the head coach of the Eagles descended from the cockpit, the group was ready for him:¬† ‘Who let Captain Eagle up there? . . . Nice work, Birdman. . . Reid is done; no more flying for him!’
The other coaches who are over there with Reid are his best friend amongst NFL coaches, Brad Childress of Minnesota, along with Carolina’s John Fox, and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis.¬† Each of them have close family ties to the military.
Reid’s father served in the Navy in World War II. Fox’s dad was one of the original Navy Seals.¬† Childress’ father was in the Army and he has a son in the Marines and currently in Afghanistan.¬† Lewis’ father was also a soldier in the Army.