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Bird Strike At Heathrow!  
User currently offlinePumaknight From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 249 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 13131 times:

Hi all,

I was down at Heathrow early this morning to get some photos in great light and weather, before I wen to a meeting neaby. And I witnessed something that shocked me to death!!

A flock of birds (pidgeons I think) flew up infront of a Virgin A340 as it crossed the perimeter of the airfield. The birds struck the plane in a huge explosion of feathers etc. None seemed to go into the engine, but birds, feathers and bits of bird werr raining down from the sky straight after the plane.

I counted at least 10 birds falling with wings broken, or in pieces!!

I have some photos (not brilliant but you can see the strikes). I will post later.

Anyone know if this would cause the plane to be non-operational? Or if it would need a check done??

Probably quite minor in the scheme of things, but shocking to watch it happening through the lens, very shocking!!


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44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAdam42185 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 408 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 13113 times:

Lets see the pictures!!

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 2, posted (4 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 13101 times:

Pigeons are not the most intelligent of birds


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15470 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (4 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 13095 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 2):
Pigeons are not the most intelligent of birds

Or the most damaging. An engine could probably take several and not be badly damaged.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinePumaknight From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 13009 times:

Sorry, said Virgin, but it is a South African....pictures coming soon!


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User currently offlineGr8Circle From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 3069 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 12809 times:



Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
Anyone know if this would cause the plane to be non-operational? Or if it would need a check done??

Probably happens quite often everyday.....maintenance crew probably check visually for such damage, each time a plane arrives at an airport.....

Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
Probably quite minor in the scheme of things, but shocking to watch it happening through the lens, very shocking!!

If this had happened at a US airport, some lawyer would be filing a class action suit against SA and Airbus by now.....for destroying American wildlife  duck 


User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12322 posts, RR: 35
Reply 6, posted (4 years 12 months 1 hour ago) and read 12734 times:



Quoting Pumaknight (Thread starter):
Anyone know if this would cause the plane to be non-operational? Or if it would need a check done??

Checks will definitely need to be done, but I can't think it will keep this aircraft out of the sky for long (which is more than can be said for the pigeons!). The engine will need to be checked and some of the fan blades might need to be replaced (which might involve changing an engine - not sure if this can be done without changing an engine); the leading edge slats and areas hit by the birds will need to be examined and of course, a good hosing down. Last thing the next group of pax boarding the aircraft wants to see is feathers sticking out from under the leading edges ...

"Mummy, I thought you said these birds didn't have feathers ... look under there"!


User currently offlineEireRock From Ireland, joined Nov 2007, 301 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (4 years 12 months ago) and read 12600 times:

There is a specific Birdstrike Inspection procedure which will be carried out by engineers on the ground, checking for damage where impact has occured and also with relation to the engines, if it is suspected that bird debris went into the engine core then a boroscope is usually performed. If a bird did enter the core of the engine it is usually recognisable by a horrible stink in the cabin.

But as Kaitak says above, birdstrike inspections are routine enough and do not usually cause major delays. Also, Kaitak, engine fan blades can be replaced without replacing an engine.


User currently offlineFeroze From India, joined Dec 2004, 794 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12379 times:



Quoting EireRock (Reply 7):
If a bird did enter the core of the engine it is usually recognisable by a horrible stink in the cabin.

Mmmmmm, roast pigeon. Delicious!


User currently offlineGARUDAROD From United States of America, joined exactly 14 years ago today! , 1503 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12336 times:



Quoting Feroze (Reply 8):
Mmmmmm, roast pigeon. Delicious!

Squab!!!!!!



Cargo doesn't whine, moan, or complain
User currently offlineLegacytravel From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1067 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 12336 times:



Quoting Gr8Circle (Reply 5):
If this had happened at a US airport, some lawyer would be filing a class action suit against SA and Airbus by now.....for destroying American wildlife

 bigthumbsup  This is sad but true here.

Mark in MKE



I love the smell of Jet fuel in the Morning
User currently offlinePumaknight From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 249 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 12224 times:

Here are the photos - I wasn't going for any particular shot, just panning with one eye on the view in camera and one eye on the outside to see where the reference point for me to shoot was. So excuse the composition and marginal blurriness. The shots were fired quickly when I realised what was going to happen,

As you can see, lost of birds and lost of bits. Main strike was central fuselage - the feathers and smear at the front of the wing box faring are where a few hit - but there are some over the wings, under the wings...quite gruesome in the flash. Raining entrails for a few seconds after the hit Sad

Anyway here the are full and some crops to the finer points!! Anyone need any other crops, let me know. Click on photos to see them in 1024 wide.

http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200901.jpg
http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200902.jpg
http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200903.jpg
http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200904.jpg
http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200905.jpg
http://www.pumaknight.co.uk/images/MH_LHR_200906.jpg



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User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12053 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 3):
Or the most damaging. An engine could probably take several and not be badly damaged.

Yes, a friend of mine works for RR here in the UK. They test engines capability of bird strikes by launching dead turkeys/chickens into test engines running at various speeds, to test their endurance. I think he mentioned it was the RR engines found on 767's.

Facinating to know that engines can ingest birds with minimal damage, however as we know it can happen that can cause some severe damage!!


User currently offlineFAEDC3 From Ecuador, joined Jun 2007, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12050 times:

Amazing pictures, thanks for sharing....  Wow!  Wow!
now, one question: If one of the engines sucks up a pigeon or two, and is not ingested into the core, does it just go thru the fanblades (damaging them I suppose) but it is consider just a minor incident?

I remember watching a video of the test performed by the RR Trents built for the A380, in which frozen chickens were thrown into the engine to prove that it can sustain certain amount of damage without failing...


User currently offlineDODCFR From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12008 times:

I just noticed this article/slide show that shows just how much damage a bird strike can do.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/slideshow/news/19272840/detail.html


User currently offlineAer Lingus From Ireland, joined Mar 2001, 524 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11653 times:

Pigeons can't fly very well and they are very slow as well.
Even traveling in a car I had encountered and witnessed a few bird strikes before.
Pheasants are even worse, they could barely fly.



Winglets or Raked Wingtips?
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 11316 times:



Quoting Aer Lingus (Reply 15):
Pigeons can't fly very well and they are very slow as well.

Wow, just like the A340 they hit then, how ironic!  duck 

Quoting Aer Lingus (Reply 15):
Pheasants are even worse, they could barely fly.

Tell me about it, I've nearly been killed by one of those things flying into me whilst cycling  grumpy 



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10331 times:



Quoting FAEDC3 (Reply 13):
I remember watching a video of the test performed by the RR Trents built for the A380, in which frozen chickens were thrown into the engine to prove that it can sustain certain amount of damage without failing...

With respect, the chickens would not have been frozen. That would have been similar to the engine ingesting almost large, solid chucks of rock, and would serve no practical purpose because it would not simulate the actual conditions of a bird strike.

I could see them sending specific quantities of measured ice into a running engine, to simulate the A/C encountering a hail storm...

There is a true story of yore, which I have posted before, and I have tried in vain to be reacquainted with the source. It was told to me by a retired Canadian Armed Forces Colonel, a jet pilot and MD, high-ranking official in Canadian Aviation Medicine, but he cannot remember the entities involved:

An aircraft manufacturer or testing body had been engaged in testing A/C for bird strikes. They were using air canons to shoot chickens into A/C leading edges and windshields, always with catastrophic results. They appealed (via old style FAX, as I understand it) to another testing body who had carried out similar research, as to what they were doing wrong. Came the terse reply: "Thaw the chickens."

I have difficulty believing that modern-day Airbus would repeat such a monumental mistake.



I come in peace
User currently offlineSashA From Russia, joined May 1999, 861 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 9659 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):
With respect, the chickens would not have been frozen. That would have been similar to the engine ingesting almost large, solid chucks of rock, and would serve no practical purpose because it would not simulate the actual conditions of a bird strike.

I actually watched a video with Richard Hammond as the host and they indeed used frozen chickens shot out of a cannon-like launching device.... only they were testing the fuselage material, not the engine. They were kinda demo-ing aluminium VS composite material with aluminium strengthed by fiberglass or smth.



An2/24/28,Yak42,Tu154/134,IL18/62/96,B737/757/767,A310/320/319,F100,BAe146,EMB-145,CRJ,A340-600,B747-400,A-330-300,A-340
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1207 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 7963 times:

My thoughts are with the irds and their families.

Seriously though, when you get bird stikes nobody talks about the welfare of the birds which is quite upsetting.



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1775 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7766 times:



Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 19):
Seriously though, when you get bird stikes nobody talks about the welfare of the birds which is quite upsetting.

But are pigeons not known as the rats of the sky???



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineSpeedyGonzales From Norway, joined Sep 2007, 706 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7497 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 20):
But are pigeons not known as the rats of the sky???

That's an offense to rats!



Las Malvinas son Argentinas
User currently offlineShankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1528 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7332 times:



Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 17):
With respect, the chickens would not have been frozen. That would have been similar to the engine ingesting almost large, solid chucks of rock, and would serve no practical purpose because it would not simulate the actual conditions of a bird strike

It would accurately model the condition of a chicken being encountered at FL350.

Great story of Eurostar using aerospace glare shield test techniques on their train development. Chicken after chicken went through the driver cab windscreens. Eventually however it was realized the test chickens should not be frozen.



L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6713 times:



Quoting Shankly (Reply 22):
It would accurately model the condition of a chicken being encountered at FL350.

Like a Tesco's frozen chicken? Is it free range or organic, or intensively reared? That'd make a difference to the muscle structure of the bird, and hence the potential to cause more damage....  Wink

Has anyone here actually seen a chicken at FL350? That would be somewhat alarming!


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11572 posts, RR: 61
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6632 times:



Quoting LHR777 (Reply 23):
Has anyone here actually seen a chicken at FL350? That would be somewhat alarming!

I have, but it was in a box on someones lap  Wink

I asked a question a while back now in Tech Ops, concerning high altitude bird strikes. There have been a few apparently, as some birds of prey can easily reach 20-30,000ft, and geese 'cruise' at high altitudes when migrating, some have even been seen flying over the top of Everest, and I can imagine that hitting a goose is a lot worse than a chicken!



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
25 Imag : Do you think they convert their Tesco Clubcard Points that they get on the frozen chicken (whether the chickens are free range, organic or value) to
26 757GB : I second that. I'm not questioning that the aircraft & people are most important, however it's quite sad for me to see the dead birds (I tend to love
27 RussianJet : Were it an A343 I might agree, but thus here is a superior machine and flies perfectly brilliantly! On another note, wow - those crops are quite grue
28 Post contains links Ncelhr : Sea gulls do more damage than pigeons. Ref: Delta NCE-JFK in 22 Nov 07: http://www.breizhspottingteam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4241 The flight had to
29 Post contains links Fxramper : Article about the FAA and released data on bird strikes. http://www.statesman.com/news/conten.../nation/04/25/0425birdstrikes.html
30 Cloudyapple : I cannot believe what you are saying. Atmospheric temperature drops ~2degC for every 1000ft you go up. At FL300 it's -40degC. Even penguins cannot su
31 Post contains links Ikramerica : Tell that to the geese. There are inversion conditions where high altitudes are not much below freezing, and this is likely when you'll see birds tha
32 Post contains links Don81603 : After some searching, I managed to find a video of the ultimate bird strike involving a pigeon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0b4TU_R7J3c
33 LHR380 : My god!!! Did not know they ate birds?
34 Don81603 : They'll eat almost anything, it seems. Back to the subject at hand, though, has there even been a birdstrike on the Concorde?
35 PlymSpotter : Indeed, the A343 lets the side down somewhat! They can do - there have even been a few recorded birdstrikes at over FL300. Birds are pretty amazing c
36 Aer Lingus : Was it a fast and low approach? Once I was cycling on a foot path and there was a pheasant in the middle. When the thing saw me getting closer it tri
37 PlymSpotter : It was a UCFIW, that is; Un-Controlled Flight Into Wheel. Much blood, decapitated phesant, but enough body carried around and wedged in my forks to t
38 Myt332 : Totally. I love the yellow headed, large breast variety personally. I wish that was on Youtube!
39 Post contains images PlymSpotter : Indeed, they are such fine natural specimins It's probably still on the wall of my old school's staffroom. It happened about seven years ago, hence a
40 Aer Lingus : That must have hurt!
41 Viscount724 : I lived for about 25 years in both YEG (where I grew up) and in YYC, where winter temperatures of -30C and occasionally -40C aren't unusual, especial
42 4holer : Bird strike? Are these French Birds? The good news is that with the birds striking, they won't be up flying around airports where planes can hit them.
43 Part147 : Initially I thought I had wandered off on the wrong type thread of when it went a bit random here - ha! Excellent pictures of the birdstrike though, r
44 Aer Lingus : Thanks for telling me this. Now I know or at least know pheasants won't fly until the last second. Less chance of a pheasant strike on the road.
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