Bombayhog From United States of America, joined May 2001, 557 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 13372 times:
Am wondering if any pilots or aircraft maintenance people would be interested in being interviewed for a story I'm working on about bird strikes (I'm a journalism graduate student, and the story is for class but could end up being published.) I'm mostly just looking for firsthand accounts of what goes on in a bird strike and what its effect on the plane is precisely. I apologize in advance if this isn't the right forum to post this in, but I thought it might be the best choice given its technical orientation. Any help anyone can give me, even if it's just a one-line quote, would be much appreciated! You can contact me via my profile. Thanks!
Ralgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 13360 times:
It depends on what part of the airplane it hits. Usually nothing adverse happens and you just have to have maintenance do a "bird strike" inspection at your destination.
If you're flying a turboprop and it hits one of the props, it could splatter all over the windows, thus giving the passengers something more interesting to gaze at instead of clouds.
If the bird is big enough, and/or it hits the right spot, it could do some serious damage. Possibilities include, but are not limited to:
* prop/engine damage leading to a shutdown or flameout.
* wing damage leading to control problems.
* window damage causing difficulty in seeing outside or a loss in pressurization
* nose damage causing problems with the air data sensors.
In more extreme cases it could go through a window and plant a kiss on a pilot's face, or otherwise wreak havoc inside the flight deck, injure or kill a crew member, require the other crew member to take over flying the aircraft, etc.
Kstatepilot From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 13338 times:
Only one I've been on flying the CJ, we just felt a little bump. During the post flight I noticed there was a rather large dent in the vertical stab. Aircraft was down for quite a while getting it fixed.
KELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6818 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 13313 times:
In a Cessna 172, it sounds like a really loud "bang" when you hit a bird, I'd put the volume between a handgun being fired and a shotgun blast... The one bird I've hit hit us on the left wing just outboard of where the strut and wing come together. I'd imagine in a bigger plane, unless it hit near the cockpit area, the flight crew probably wouldn't hear anything.
The only damage was feathers stuck in an inspection panel out there on the wing, and lots of blood on the bottom of the wing. All I can say is Cessna must use really thick gauge aluminum on the leading edge, as that didn't even get dented We were on a practice instrument approach, so we weren't flying too terribly fast... (90 knots or so).
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 13280 times:
I hit something once at night. I was in a 172, cruising at 6000 or 8000 feet, when a loud jolt reverberated through the airframe. It sounded and felt as though someone hit the fuselage or wing with a baseball bat.
What I remember most about the event was the uncertainty immediately afterward. Largely because it was dark outside, I wasn't sure:
Where the airplane was hit
Whether there was any damage to the airplane
If there was damage, how serious it was
Throughout the rest of the flight, everything appeared normal. After landing at my destination, I inspected the wing and found faint evidence of the strike on the leading edge....mainly a dull, smeared mark.
Like I said, I mainly remember the uncertainty following the strike. I didn't particularly enjoy not knowing what condition the airplane was in.
Rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2740 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 13234 times:
A few links with information on the subject:
BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA
"Bird and other wildlife strikes to aircraft annually cause over $600 million in damage to U.S. civil and military aviation. Furthermore, these strikes put the lives of aircraft crew members and their passengers at risk: over 195 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes since 1988."
A total of 64,734 bird strikes reported in the USA in that period. Resulting in at least 6380 aircraft with minor or substantial damage, and 16 aircraft destroyed. The report also discusses 1429 incidents involving "terrestrial mammals" and another 79 involving reptiles. One wonders how many of the reptile incidents involved a single flight with Samuel L. Jackson on board?
BWilliams From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 13211 times:
Quoting Ralgha (Reply 1): prop/engine damage leading to a shutdown or flameout.
This is probably the biggest concern at low altitude, even more then damage to the body of the aircraft -- damage on takeoff could result in a crash if the remaining engine(s) can't supply the thrust to climb, and on landing takes away from the thrust necessary to perform a go around in case it's needed.
If you want to know what actually happens to the engine: a bird getting injested by a jet engine would destroy the compressor and necessitate replacement of the whole engine. It's really no more dangerous then a generic engine failure, since the emergency procedure in case of engine-out is the same, pretty much. Just a tad more interesting -- more fireworks, so to speak.
This video shows a 757 sucking a bird into it's engine at MAN right at rotation:
Tdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12710 posts, RR: 80
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 13177 times:
Quoting BWilliams (Reply 7): If you want to know what actually happens to the engine: a bird getting injested by a jet engine would destroy the compressor and necessitate replacement of the whole engine.
There's a big if here...*if* it goes though the core. If it goes through the fan only, you can be fine. If it goes through the core you borescope the core and look for damage...could be fine, could be trashed.
HAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31851 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 13136 times:
It depends on the location,impact of the strike & the type of bird.Weather its a strike on the Airframe or Ingestion thru the Powerplant.
Mx has Bird strike Inspection schedules which point of checks to be carried out on an Aircraft post bird strike.
We had a Bird strike on a B752 radome a few months ago.Chances that such a strike would be deflected of the side of the radome,but unfortunately for the bird & aircraft struck & dented the Radome right at its nose.The radome had to be replaced.
Difficult part was it was raining heavily & the Aircraft was on the Bay,not in the Hangar
The Bird sample collection & handing over to concern authorities is also a part of the Job,so that investigations are done relating to the type of bird & the reason it was present at the Airport premises.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14814 posts, RR: 61
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 13115 times:
The biggest I ever experienced was an eagle owl (Buho buho, in German Uhu) getting caught smack on the radome of a 737 at just below V1. Since we have a long runway, the pilot decided to abort the take off. For such a big bird (eagle owls are the biggest species of owls worldwide), from the outside there was surprisingly little damage, some paint cracked and the upper lightning diverter strip was partly torn off. Almost no blood as well. Only when I had the radome opened, I found that in several places the impact had cracked the composite structure out off limits in several places, requiring repair in a shop, so the plane was grounded until a new radome could be shipped to us.
The owl was picked up from the runway by a follow me driver. It had a wing span of about 1.60 meters (5.5 feet), if it would be sitting, it would have been about 60-70 centimeters tall (almost 2 feet). It still had a dead hedgehog in it's claws and looked, from the outside, undamaged, but I suspect that it suffered massive internal trauma. If it would have been still alive at this moment, I would have called a veterinarian, since it was a beautiful bird and eagle owls are also quite rare.
We suspect that the owl had just caught the hedgehog on or just beside the runway and was distracted by it. It suddenly noticed the plane barreling down on it, got startled and tried to take off. Now eagle owls are very quiet flyers, but not very fast. Additionally it was still carrying the weight of the hedgehog. It probably also took off in the wrong direction, straight into the plane's path.
Starlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17494 posts, RR: 66
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13089 times:
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11): We suspect that the owl had just caught the hedgehog on or just beside the runway and was distracted by it. It suddenly noticed the plane barreling down on it, got startled and tried to take off.
"Not so much a bird strike as an engine suck"... Or in other words it's not the poor bird's fault...
Dougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 12901 times:
Quoting BWilliams (Reply 7): If you want to know what actually happens to the engine: a bird getting injested by a jet engine would destroy the compressor and necessitate replacement of the whole engine. It's really no more dangerous then a generic engine failure, since the emergency procedure in case of engine-out is the same, pretty much. Just a tad more interesting -- more fireworks, so to speak.
Not so. It depends on the bird, both size and species. The little ones get atomized but the refuse mucks up the airflow inside your engine and can lead to a significant EGT rise. I have worked on a number of TPE331s that have taken bird hits. It does require a total disassembly to clean up the muck which doesn't begin to smell bad until it gets wet.
One actually bent a blade in the first stage compressor which was quite a job as it's forged titanium. We sent the impeller back to Garrett and they cut off the damaged area, welded on new material, and reprofiled it. The only way you could tell it was damaged at any time was the metal was a little darker-but it was the same serial number.
If the bird is big and hefty enough, of course, it'll cause a lot of mess and damage. Also if the bird has a heavy bone structure like a seagull, that head is as solid as granite.
I worked at an airport which has a permanent ATIS notice for migratory waterfowl. There is a pharmaceutical plant south of the airport and they used a big pond as a heat exchanger for their antibiotic processes. The pond never froze, hunters were barred and the ducks and geese liked it fine. One customer hit a couple Canada geese one time, What a frickin mess-feet, beaks and eyeballs wrapped around the MLG struts.
KBFIspotter From United States of America, joined May 2005, 729 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 12772 times:
We clean up on average a bird strike a day at QX. Two days ago we had one on a Q400 that shattered a wing leading edge panel, and left a hole big enough for my hand to fit through. This bird hit with enough force to shred the rubber deice boot on the panel. Then last night I cleaned up another one, no damage, just blood everywhere, streaked along the nose just aft of the radome, and also along the bottom on one of the engine nacelles. Most times we will be called out for a bird strike and just find a small point of blood, and nothing else. Sometimes there will be no evidence what so ever. But every once in a while, we have ones that require new leading edge panels, radomes, prop blades or whole props, or even an engine change.
Buzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 19
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12772 times:
Hi Bombayhog, Buzz here. The only bird strike of note for me was a couple years ago when a 737-300 ran into a few on final approach... in the dark of course.
Most of the time it's just a red smear on the airplane. There were 3 or 4 red smears. But a couple went into #1 engine. Nothing down the core... the first was easy to see where it hit.
The 2nd was harder to trace. It went into the bleed air pre-cooler inlet ( I wigged a borescope between the fan blades) So there's a layer of bird-burger smeared into the fins of the heat exchanger. It's hard enough to get the pre-cooler valve out, then put a mirror in the duct to examine the mess. A normal human hand / arm can't get in there.
There was some drizzle that morning, so both engine bleed air systems had to work for anti-ice protection. The airplane was delayed until the weather improved... then one flight down to SFO for a pre-cooler change.
But most of the time the birdstrikes we get aren't very exciting.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined exactly 12 years ago today! , 10927 posts, RR: 52
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 12772 times:
There's a pretty famous incident where a bird hit the nosewheel steering system of a 737 on takeoff. The bird strike didn't appear to cause any problems, so the crew continued on. When the KLM 737 landed in Barcelona, the plane veered off the runway since the bird damaged the steering cables and caused the nose gear to be stuck in place at about a 10 degree angle. The pilots were not able to use differential braking and the rudder to keep the plane on the runway. The nose ended up in a ditch and the fuselage was a writeoff. One stupid bird cost the airline millions of dollars.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!