Bird strike!

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
When they hit the windscreen, it sounds like someone slamming an encylopedia on a wood floor! POP!!!

Back in 1998, we were flying into Nashville on a 727 and one of the flight attendants was in the cockpit chatting with us as she brought forward some coffee.

Then all of a sudden, !!!BAM!!!, she screams, the captain puts his glasses back on, the FO looks at the flight instruments and I start doing the "little U big U" on the flight engineer panel (FE scan pattern) -- just to make sure that we were still pressurized and had oil in the tanks.

Then the captain turns on the bright thunderstorm lights and apparently, the bird hit the windshield wiper, instantly split into two chunks and were splattered all over the FO's windscreen. Blood, guts and strange stuff I never knew a bird has in them!


For some reason, we all start laughing and the flight attendant asks, "What IS that?"

"Oh," the captain says, "I guess we hit a bird!"

She turns about eight shades of green and leaves the cockpit without comment.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
When they hit the windscreen, it sounds like someone slamming an encylopedia on a wood floor! POP!!!


[/ QUOTE ]

Yea, always an attention getter! I had one hit the f/o's window while between cloud layers descending through 5000'ft one dark stormy night near DFW. The noise didn't surprise us as much as the wonderment of why any bird would be flying around in those conditons..and at night?!?


It intially made a bloody mess on the window but a couple minutes in light to moderate rain washed most of it off.
 

FL270

New Member
I've had two bird-strike experiences.

The first was from the jumpseat on Continental ... 737 descending through about 5000' on approach to IAH. We flew right through a whole flock of birds ... fortunately no damage to the aircraft, but there were bird guts all over the place, including right in the middle of the captain's windshield. After landing maintenance counted remnants of a dozen carcasses on the airplane. What a mess.

The second time was about a year and a half ago in the King Air. On takeoff from LWB (Lewisburg, WV) had a flock of gray-black birds lift off the runway just about the time we did ... their color meant that neither us or the tower controller could see the things. Again, no damage, but bird guts all over the airplane (including on the windshield again). When we landed back at home base, we washed the guts of five of them off the airplane, and on return to LWB later the same day, were informed that airport operations collected another ten carcasses off the runway.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Is this consider to be dangerous? for instance Could a bird stop a jet engine?

[/ QUOTE ]

Absolutely.

Birds are tremendously dangerous to aircraft depending on the size of the bird, the velocity of the aircraft and where it (they?) hit(s).
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
Is this consider to be dangerous? for instance Could a bird stop a jet engine?


[/ QUOTE ]

Depends on the size of the bird and where/how it hits. Large turbofan engines will usually slice'em up pretty good and spit'em out the back with nary a hiccup. The fan blades and engines can take quite a beating and continue to operate. A well placed bird could damage a blade, unbalancing the whole fan section and create havoc, but most times it's a non-event. Multiple bird strikes could easily bring an aircraft down. The last one I remember was a KC135 out of Anchorage, AK some years back. They ran into a flock of birds right after takeoff and the aircraft crashed.

Have you ever seen footage of engine manufacturers shooting frozen chickens through an engine (on a test stand) operating at high rpm's? A high speed camera captures the event. It's absolutely amazing what those engines can take.

I've had a handful of bird strikes in my career. Most have been glancing blows around the nose section. 5 have been on the forward windows. Most of the hits have been at night. I guess the birds are blinded and confused by the lights. If you come up on a flock of birds inflight, try to climb or go over them. Birds will instinctively dive when startled.

Back in my commuter airline days, while based in CHO (Charlottesville, Va), I watched a Shorts 330 attempt to takeoff on it's first flight of the morning. The runway crested in the middle. A flock of seagulls sat in the middle of the runway on the opposite side of the crest from the takeoff roll. I thought they'd move upon hearing the approaching Shorts. They didn't. The next thing we heard was some loud banging, popping and feathers flying followed quickly by two engines going into hard reverse. The aircraft stopped safely but there were dead and injured birds all over the runway. It was actually a sad sight to see and I remember the airport workers driving around in a pick-up scooping up all the dead and dying birds with a shovel.

We did have a B757 back around 1988 suck in a pelican or some other very large marine bird out of Seattle, WA. as the crew was rotating for T/O. The engine ate itself as the tower reported large flames out of the tail pipe (no afterburner jokes!
). The crew made a safe single engine landing back at SeaTac after securing the engine. This serious situation was punctuated by a little humor as the tapes revealed that the crew performed the engine fire checklist flawlessly except that every recall item was begun with an expletive.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
You:[ QUOTE ]
Birds are tremendously dangerous to aircraft depending on the size of the bird, the velocity of the aircraft and where it (they?) hit(s)

[/ QUOTE ]

Me: [ QUOTE ]
Depends on the size of the bird and where/how it hits.

[/ QUOTE ]

I swear I didn't read your response before posting.
 

Wm226

New Member
What can be the effects of a Cessna or similar aircraft hitting a bird?

Would the effect be more serious compared to a jet or turbine engine?

Thank You,
William
 

danielsexton

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
What can be the effects of a Cessna or similar aircraft hitting a bird?

Would the effect be more serious compared to a jet or turbine engine?

Thank You,
William

[/ QUOTE ]

I can't remember if it was a cessna, but remember John Denver? He was flying a small plane, I am pretty sure the NTSB said the final cause was Bird Strike.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
I saw a Fine Air DC8 hit a bunch of egrets on short final at SJU one day. The AA Airbus 300 was taxied into position and hold and given the option of going or waiting for the clean up crew.

"Ah, tower, we think we'll wait for the clean up"

"Roger that American 504, stay in position - you'll be number one."

So the the little PRIA pick up truck goes out there and the poor guy stops and slings all these dead egrets in to the back. My captain was counting them down - 23 of them. I went to key the mic but Ken Paulson (in the Shorts in front of me) was faster, and said "The final score is Fine Air 23, Birds 0"

The AA flight said "There goes the truck, where is he taking the birds?" Another Shorts driver said "right to the cafeteria - chicken soup tomorrow!"
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
I had a bird hit the windshield of a 172 one time. It scared the living daylights out of me. Just imagine climbing out and then hearing this huge bang and watching something splatter right in front of your face.

I was told that I was very lucky that I didn't end up with bird guts at a minimum in my lap.

I went back and landed, and I was shaking (or should I say shacking) for a good half hour afterwards.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
What can be the effects of a Cessna or similar aircraft hitting a bird?

[/ QUOTE ]

Most of the damage from the bird strike would be on the back of the airplane!
In my best Foghorn Leghorn impersonation..."That's a joke, son!"



Seriously though, It all depends upon the size of the bird(s), closure speed and where you're hit.

[ QUOTE ]
Would the effect be more serious compared to a jet or turbine engine?


[/ QUOTE ]

More serious? Quite possible but not probable. A "golden bb" birdie can bring down an aircraft of any size if hit in the right spot. However, the chances of one bird doing major damage of a serious nature to a large jet or turbine engine is probably less than for a small GA aircraft. You have more redundant and capable systems and stronger materials in the jet. The downside in a jet is that you're usually going faster and a 5lb mass hitting the aircraft going 300mph has the kinetic potential of doing more damage than hitting an aircraft going 100mph.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Psst, all this talk of "golden bb" is going to send MikeD into Air America flashbacks!
 

Nerdwing

New Member
Poof...Birds turn to smoke the same instant they dissappear.

Remind me not to walk in front of any jet engines.
 

danielsexton

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
What can be the effects of a Cessna or similar aircraft hitting a bird?

Would the effect be more serious compared to a jet or turbine engine?

Thank You,
William

[/ QUOTE ]

I can't remember if it was a cessna, but remember John Denver? He was flying a small plane, I am pretty sure the NTSB said the final cause was Bird Strike.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sorry, I think I might have posted bad information, I thought I remember ABC or someone saying the cause was a bird strike, but I looked up on the internet and the prevailing theory seems to be he was distracted because the main fuel tank was empty and he was trying to switch to a reserve which was also empty.
 

Wm226

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
What can be the effects of a Cessna or similar aircraft hitting a bird?

[/ QUOTE ]

Most of the damage from the bird strike would be on the back of the airplane!
In my best Foghorn Leghorn impersonation..."That's a joke, son!"



Seriously though, It all depends upon the size of the bird(s), closure speed and where you're hit.

[ QUOTE ]
Would the effect be more serious compared to a jet or turbine engine?


[/ QUOTE ]

More serious? Quite possible but not probable. A "golden bb" birdie can bring down an aircraft of any size if hit in the right spot. However, the chances of one bird doing major damage of a serious nature to a large jet or turbine engine is probably less than for a small GA aircraft. You have more redundant and capable systems and stronger materials in the jet. The downside in a jet is that you're usually going faster and a 5lb mass hitting the aircraft going 300mph has the kinetic potential of doing more damage than hitting an aircraft going 100mph.

[/ QUOTE ]

Very interesting! Thank you for the response.
 

Wm226

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I had a bird hit the windshield of a 172 one time. It scared the living daylights out of me. Just imagine climbing out and then hearing this huge bang and watching something splatter right in front of your face.

I was told that I was very lucky that I didn't end up with bird guts at a minimum in my lap.

I went back and landed, and I was shaking (or should I say shacking) for a good half hour afterwards.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey tony... did the bird cause any damage?
 

CAVOK

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Psst, all this talk of "golden bb" is going to send MikeD into Air America flashbacks!

[/ QUOTE ]

"I crash better than anyone I know."
"Even the friendlies are unfriendly!! Why are they shooting at us? Becuase they are unfriendly"
Funny stuff.


BTW...we had an airplane have something go through the prop on climbout. I say "something" because it was tough to decipher the species of bird when it is a greasy red stain all the way down the fuselage. It was kind of neat because the blood drippings followed the airflow all the way around the airplane (the clockwise direction around the a/c). One of our ground instructors took the opportunity to bring a class out and show them how the prop caused the air to circle the a/c and how that caused a left turning tendency.
 
Top