Them Damn Birds


Does It Really Matter....?
Staff member
NTSB Identification: NYC03FA190
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of American Airlines
Accident occurred Thursday, September 04, 2003 in Flushing, NY
Aircraft: Fokker F.28 Mk 0100, registration: N1450A
Injuries: 38 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 4, 2003, at 0624 eastern daylight time, a Fokker F.28 Mk 0100, N1450A, operated by American Airlines as flight 549, was substantially damaged during the initial climb after takeoff from La Guardia Airport (LGA), Flushing, New York. There were no injuries to the 2 certificated airline transport pilots, 2 flight attendants, or 34 passengers. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the scheduled, domestic passenger flight, destined for Midway Airport (MDW), Chicago, Illinois. The flight was conducted on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 CFR Part 121.

The flightcrew reported that the airplane flew through a flock of birds shortly after takeoff. They experienced a vibration in the right engine, and were unable to shut it down by use of the fuel cutoff lever. The fire handle was then pulled, and a fire extinguisher bottle was fired. The engine shut down; however, the vibration continued. The flightcrew diverted the flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), where it landed uneventfully. After landing and being examined maintenance personnel, the airplane taxied to a gate where the passengers deplaned through the jetway.

Examination of the airplane revealed a 20 by 36-inch wide depression on the right side of the nose, behind the radome. The maximum depth of the depression was between 3 and 4 inches. Stringers in the depressed area were deformed and cracked.

Impact marks were found on the right wing at 15 and 18 feet outboard from the fuselage. There was no visible damage to the wings. Splattered blood was visible on the right side wing root.

The airplane was equipped with 2 Rolls Royce Tay 650-15 engines. The right engine cowl ring was splattered with blood. The fan disk could be rotated with finger tip pressure. One fan blade was separated from the fan disk at the root. The remaining fan blades were deformed, and had received leading edge impact damage. The containment ring for the fan was penetrated with a 9 inch by 2 inch hole. Additional holes were found in the engine cowling forward of the containment ring.

There was an "L" shaped penetration of the fuselage, which started 6 inches above the top of the aft window on the right side. The penetration moved upward for 7 inches and was about 2-3/8 inches wide. The underlying insulation and plastic side panel were not penetrated. The blade that penetrated the fuselage was not recovered.

In the cockpit, the right engine fire handle was found pulled, and the right engine fuel cutoff lever was in the mid-range position. When checked, the fuel cutoff lever would not go to the idle-cutoff position. Further examination revealed that the low pressure shaft failure system had activated on the engine.

The engine, cockpit voice recorder, and flight data recorder were retained for further examination. In addition, feathers which were recovered from the engine and airframe were also retained for further examination.
Here's one from a Delta jet that almost lost both engines due to a bird strike:

NTSB Identification: NYC99LA064 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of (D.B.A. DELTA AIR LINES )
Accident occurred Monday, February 22, 1999 in COVINGTON, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 8/10/00
Aircraft: Boeing 757, registration: N682DA
Injuries: 132 Uninjured.
The airplane pushed back from the gate, and taxied to runway 18L. While taxing, the crew heard no mention of a bird hazard by another aircraft or air traffic control. The takeoff roll was normal until passing approximately 150 knots; at that point, a flock of birds traveling from left to right passed in front of the airplane. The captain advised the first officer of the hazard, and asked him to climb over the flock. The first officer increased pitch angle, but the airplane still penetrated the flock. At the time of penetration, the nose wheel was in the air, and the main landing gear was just becoming airborne. The airplane returned to the airport without further incident. At the time of impact, N1 on the left engine dropped from 81.88 percent to 56.00 percent, and on the right engine, it dropped from 81.25 to 71.63 percent. In both cases, throttle positions remained constant. The bird's roost was not identified, and no airport procedures contributing to the accident were observed. Starlings comprised 5 percent of all the damaging animal strikes to U.S. aircraft from 1993 to 1995.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

A flock birds were ingested into both engines, resulting in substantial damage to the engines.
Doug/Anyone Else,

Just curious how much time the pilots really have once there is a bird strike? Will the engine shut down automatically or is there a quick flow for the pilots to follow
Here is a picture I took of a fellow student at UND. He hit the drake mallard around 1 am when he was on downwind and I was just entering downwind when he hit it. The duck made it through the prop and lodged into the cowling. The only the duck lost was its head and it found its way to the bottom of the engine compartment.

can you paste the photo? I used the link and got a login screen....

still get a login screen with this link....
I am trying to, but I am not sure how to post the picture straight to the website. Anyone know how?

I figured it out.

Yay, my 500th post!!
I met a guy that was an RF 4C driver that took a turkey buzzard in the canopy. They sighted the bird and had just enough time for it to be in his lap. They were unable to eject because the impact of the bird had severly injured the pilots shoulder. Unfortunately, it pretty much ended his time in fighters. Talk about a bady day.
I had a bird strike the other day. It was pretty scary. I'm flying along, and then I hear a big thud. I thought, oh, crap, this time, it's a real engine failure. Then I looked up on the windshield and saw the remnants of the bird.

I filed the NASA report and everything!
I guess that explains why the ATIS at CVG, IAD and numerous other airports always includes bird activity. This is true even if you don't see a B-1RD anywhere. (In coastal areas, you really have to watch out for all those GU-11s, as well.)