updated 10/1/2007 2:00:59 PM ET 2007-10-01T18:00:59

A bird cracked the windshield of an airliner, slightly injuring the co-pilot and forcing the plane to return to Philadelphia shortly after takeoff on Saturday, an aviation official said.

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The co-pilot of AirTran Airways Flight 47 suffered minor facial cuts from broken glass, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said.

About 10 minutes after the Boeing 737 left Philadelphia International Airport with 143 people on a flight to Atlanta, the pilot radioed the control tower to say the plane was returning because the right windshield had cracked, Peters said.

No one else on board was injured, airport spokeswoman Phyllis Van Istendal said.

There was no immediate response to a call seeking comment from AirTran.

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