Yesterday morning, 78 of them decided to leave the bay and crawl onto an active taxiway. When an American Eagle flight noticed them, they notified the tower and the FAA halted all traffic for about 12 minutes.
It took a crew 35 minutes to gather up all the turtles and give the all clear for flights to resume.
What surprises me the most, is that this is apparently a fairly common thing – jets hit turtles several times a year at JFK. Surely a small fence could prevent the turtles from causing havoc at the airport? It’s one thing to be delayed due to bad weather, but to sit in a plane awaiting a departure slot because of turtles is just insulting.
The halted flights and clean up caused delays of up to an hour and a half, which is a pretty miserable way to start your vacation (if you were so lucky to be heading somewhere nice).