Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Historical Bird Strike Event on a 767

On 22 October 2007, the Associated Press reported that NASA had planned to not release a report on a survey of over 24,000 pilots about safety for fear that the public would lose confidence in the air transportation system (visit the AirSafe.com news site to see my comments on their decision). One of the issues was that pilots reported about double the amount of many bird strikes as would be found in the FAA's database.

That particular fact made me look up a bird strike event from 2001 to see if it were in the publicly accessible FAA and NTSB accident and incident databases. I did not find it, so I decided to provide NASA and the public with one more data point.

On 2 April 2001, an American Airlines B767-300 was on a scheduled flight from Paris, France (CDG) to Miami when the aircraft experienced a multiple birdstrike during climb out at flight level 140. The crew returned to CDG. Most impacts were on the nose and wings. An impact between the radome and captain's windshield, next to the TAT probe, punctured the airframe and allowed bird debris to enter the cockpit.
Cabin depressurization was reported. The first officer was the pilot flying at the time of strike and the captain took over after putting on his oxygen mask. The engines operated normally throughout the event with the crew reporting no changes in engine parameters. After landing, inspections did not reveal any engine damage or evidence of bird ingestion. A bird stain was observed on position 1 inlet outer barrel on the left-hand side.

The French BEA conducted an investigation. It is likely that no record of this event was found in the publicly accessible online databases of the FAA or NTSB because the event occurred outside the U.S. However, shortly after the event I was sent details of the event, along with a number of photos, from someone close to the investigation. If you want to see just what you are missing from the NASA, FAA, and NTSB database, then take a look at the online gallery of photos.

Video Trailer from These Photos

Friday, October 19, 2007

Russian Bird Strike Test

In this undated video, the windscreen of an unidentified Russian transport aircraft is subjected to a bird strike test where the test article, presumably a bird carcass, was fired at the left hand windscreen. There was no significant damage to the window.

Multiple Bird Airliner Encounter

This undated strike event involved an in-flight encounter with multiple birds. At least one bird struck the wing of the unidentified jet transport aircraft, resulting in minor damage to the leading edge of the right wing inboard of the engine.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bird Strike on a Spaceship

Bird strikes are not just a problem for airplanes anymore. During the launch of Space Shuttle flight STS-114 on July 26, 2005, a bird hit the external fuel tank shortly after liftoff. Fortunately, the strike did not affect the Shuttle. The bird probably did not fare as well.