reLAX
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:00 am

22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:51 pm

I was on EK 003 yesterday evening. When we were on approach to London, just having passed Canary Wharf, there was a distinct thump and the 777 banked right. I didn't think much of it - perhaps just rogue bit of turbulence. 30 seconds later, the captain came over the PA and announced that we had just collided with a meteoroligical balloon, but all was well.

Questions: 1) why would there be meteoroligical instruments flying over central London, and more importantly, in the path of Heathrow traffic and 2) what sort of damage could such an instrument do to the aircraft?

Discuss.
"Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?"
 
RobTrent
Posts: 255
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 5:48 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Sun Apr 23, 2006 11:56 pm

It beggars belief ! Out of interest, what altidude do you estimate the aircraft was at ?

Regards
R
T7 - You know it makes sense !
 
musapapaya
Posts: 990
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:02 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:02 am

Did the pilot carry on the approach on initiate a go around? This is strange to me. Anyone have any clue what material is that balloon made of?
Lufthansa Group of Airlines
 
User avatar
zeke
Posts: 9757
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:05 am

Those balloons are sent airborne all over the world, to collect atmospheric data which is very important for the meteorological models and computerised flight planning systems that are in use. The actual winds will also influence the actual North Atlantic tracks for that are used for a particular day.

The most damage it could do would be like hitting a reasonable sized bird. Had something similar happen to me near HKG.

Seen NOTAMS for these to be released around, and enroute to some fairly large airports sometimes on a hourly basis.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
aerosol
Posts: 497
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2000 10:31 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:23 am

I was on a flight from IST to DUS where I have seen a weather balloon swooshing by. Distance is hard to estimate as I do not know how big they are.
 
StarGoldLHR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:29 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:29 am

I dont know the flight but I saw an Emirate A/C approaching LHR, from CW and thought I saw a flora london marathon balloon going spring loose and sail up to the skies.

About 18pm... definitely Emirates, A340 series, I remember bragging to my girlfriend I could guess it's tail. Didnt think it got even close though from my view point on the Thames.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
Sabena 690
Posts: 6065
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2002 12:48 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:14 am

Sorry to go off topic, but I spotted you yesterday evening above Belgium! About eight minutes before you flew over COSTA (where you started crossing the North Sea).

The registration was A6-EMM if I'm not mistaken...

Regards
Frederic
 
reLAX
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:00 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:14 am

We must have been at about 3,000 - 4,000ft. And no, there was no go around (guess all systems reporting normal?). The approached proceeded as normal - even with the overhead projector showing the forward camera.

I was shocked by the captain even announcing the event. All of us in business class looked at each other as if to say "does this mean an emergency landing?"
"Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?"
 
RobTrent
Posts: 255
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 5:48 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 5):
I dont know the flight but I saw an Emirate A/C approaching LHR, from CW and thought I saw a flora london marathon balloon going spring loose and sail up to the skies.

Aha ! it probably just slid past if it was Flora spread.
Sorry for the crap Joke

R  Smile
T7 - You know it makes sense !
 
Daleaholic
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 9:38 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:07 am

Being a 'balloon' I doubt much damage could be done. Must've been fine if the pilot landed as usual.
Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:28 am

Quoting ReLAX (Thread starter):
1) why would there be meteoroligical instruments flying over central London, and more importantly, in the path of Heathrow traffic

I'm sure it wasn't intentional... The balloon could have been released many miles away but the winds have carried it across your path. Since you estimate you were at 3 or 4,000ft, so it's not like you were on final approach... I doubt any balloons would be intentionaly released within a couple miles of the airport.

Quoting ReLAX (Thread starter):
2) what sort of damage could such an instrument do to the aircraft?

I wouldn't think anything that serious, however there are things it can do. Attached to the balloon is the actual instrumentation to make the recordings and I'm sure this isn't exactly light. It could possibly crack a windscreen or dent the leading edge of a wing or something. While not exactly life threatening, it could down the plane or maintenance and cost some $$$

I would think the worst case scenario is the balloon covering a pitot tube or maybe knocking a radio antenna off. However since large aircraft have multiple of each, it's still not that big of a deal.
 
A346Dude
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:23 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:44 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 10):
Attached to the balloon is the actual instrumentation to make the recordings and I'm sure this isn't exactly light.

IIRC, it is actually fairly light. When the balloon reaches an altitude where the pressure differential is so great that it bursts, the instrumentation falls back to Earth. It must be light enough so as to do no damage if it hits an object on the ground.
You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
 
packman
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:51 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:48 am

I was at Heathrow early yesterday afternoon taking a few photos when a bunch of helium balloons passed over runway 09R between terminal 4 and Hatton Cross at about 1000 feet. Fortunately they crossed the runway between departing aircraft but I don't know whether they were spotted by the tower personnel.

Packman
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:51 am

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 11):
IIRC, it is actually fairly light. When the balloon reaches an altitude where the pressure differential is so great that it bursts, the instrumentation falls back to Earth. It must be light enough so as to do no damage if it hits an object on the ground.

You're right, I did some research and found that radiosondes typically weigh only about 250 grams
 
EK773
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 1:13 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:52 am

Yesterday in JFK i watched a red balloon float past my window as we turned onto the runway for take off for EK204 to DXB. It looked the size of a normal kids helium balloon.
 
Daleaholic
Posts: 2653
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 9:38 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:21 am

Could a balloon be dangerous if ingested by the engine? I mean a small kids balloon.
Religion is an illusion of childhood... Outgrown under proper education.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:28 am

Quoting Aerosol (Reply 4):
do not know how big they are

The ones launched from my school have a 15 ft diameter and they're made out of latex, they are pretty much just a giant party balloon.

Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 15):
Could a balloon be dangerous if ingested by the engine?

I doubt it, they throw frozen chickens at the engines during testing, and they keep running fine.
 
Noah008
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 1999 3:05 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:22 am

they throw frozen chickens? thats crazy what else do they throw at an engine for testing? and doese anyhting come oiut the back side?
 
LXLucien
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:51 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:30 am

Hi

Some sort of balloon don't cause damage at the engine...
even a small bird you don't even realise it... maybe a little bit of turbulence at the engine and a soft smell of chicken inside the cabin (that's really no joke  Smile!)

LL
Quote "Syriana": "Beirut, it's like Paris in the Mid-East"
 
BO__einG
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2000 5:20 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:37 am

They also shoot chunks of ice into engines as well during testing.
Also lots and lots of water for to simulate a heavy rainfall or monsoon.
For the chickens, well despite being all frozen once it is inside the engine and takes on the superheated gases it will litteraly spray out blood from the rear end in the area around a thousand degrees.

You dont want to be sprayed by superhot chicken blood.
Follow @kimbo_snaps on Instagram or bokimon- on Flickr to see more pics of me and my travels.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:40 am

Actually when you consider that every weather obeservation station in the world sends up these ballons twice a day I am surprised it doesn't happen more often.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
boysteve
Posts: 885
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:17 am

Quoting Noah008 (Reply 17):
they throw frozen chickens? thats crazy what else do they throw at an engine for testing? and doese anyhting come oiut the back side?

This reminds of a funny but true story. It's not directly related to commercial airlines but I feel it is worth telling none the less.
When British Rail was testing the High Speed Train in the early to mid 1970's they wanted to ensure that a bird strike could not break the windshield and thus injure the driver. They knew that NASA tested the windshields of its space vehicles by firing frozen chickens at them at very high speeds so decided to do the same. Every-time they carried out the test the windshield smashed beyond recognition and British Rail staffed could not work out why their test was failing. They made a phone call to NASA to explain their findings and to determine why the tests were giving different results. The answer that came back from NASA was loud and clear; "We thaw them out first".
 
Geo772
Posts: 439
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:40 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:27 am

Remembering back to my days at school I went on a trip to a site that launched weather ballons. These were about 8ft high on the ground but only about a foot to eighteen inches across at the widest point. I forget how big they got to at altitude but it is pretty enormous.

Contrary to popular belief fresh chickens are used on engine bird stike tests, for the simple reason that in nature a frozen bird cannot fly into an airplane engine.

The Ice tests are done to check that the engine can still run with cowl icing, a most undesirable occurance.

It is also quite rare for an engine birdstrike to result in the bird going down the hot core of the engine, normally they end up being flung down the cold stream duct and it is usually a horrble mess.
Flown on A300B4/600,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343,B727,B732/3/4/5/6/7/8,B741/2/4,B752/3,B762/3,B772/3,DC10,L1011-200,VC10,MD80,
 
greenjet
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2001 9:59 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:36 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 5):
About 18pm... definitely Emirates, A340 series, I remember bragging to my girlfriend I could guess it's tail.

You know your aircraft liveries but you can't tell the time  Wink
 
boysteve
Posts: 885
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:38 am

Quoting Greenjet (Reply 23):
You know your aircraft liveries but you can't tell the time

Haha, thats funny!
 
Oykie
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:21 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:15 am

Quoting ReLAX (Thread starter):
Questions: 1) why would there be meteorological instruments flying over central London, and more importantly, in the path of Heathrow traffic and 2) what sort of damage could such an instrument do to the aircraft?

When we sent up Weather balloons at Andoya Rocket Range, we had to notify the tower at Andoya Airport to get a clearance so that they could clear the airfield, and notify any nearby passenger planes. We then notified again when the balloon burst-ed. At about 23 000 meters. It depends on the temperature.

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 10):

I wouldn't think anything that serious, however there are things it can do. Attached to the balloon is the actual instrumentation to make the recordings and I'm sure this isn't exactly light. It could possibly crack a windscreen or dent the leading edge of a wing or something. While not exactly life threatening, it could down the plane or maintenance and cost some $$$

It is not heavy at all, but I to would imagine that the instrumentation would be the most hazardous to the engine.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
ua935
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:41 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 6:30 am

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 5):
definitely Emirates, A340 series, I remember bragging to my girlfriend I could guess it's tail

Urmmmm, well done on identifying the tail, hope you didn't brag to your girlfriend that you knew the type!

EK003 is always a 777, never an A340.
Live every second like you mean it
 
OldAeroGuy
Posts: 3185
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:07 am

Quoting Boysteve (Reply 21):
This reminds of a funny but true story. It's not directly related to commercial airlines but I feel it is worth telling none the less.
When British Rail was testing the High Speed Train in the early to mid 1970's they wanted to ensure that a bird strike could not break the windshield and thus injure the driver. They knew that NASA tested the windshields of its space vehicles by firing frozen chickens at them at very high speeds so decided to do the same. Every-time they carried out the test the windshield smashed beyond recognition and British Rail staffed could not work out why their test was failing. They made a phone call to NASA to explain their findings and to determine why the tests were giving different results. The answer that came back from NASA was loud and clear; "We thaw them out first".

This story is one of those great urban legends. I've heard versions of it told for 40 years, although this is the first time I've heard of the vehicle being a train. In the other stories it was always an airplane, ranging from the Gulfstream 2 to the C5A. Like all urban legends, it has the right ring of truth to sound possible.

Does anyone have documented proof of such an event? A picture would be nice.

Quoting Geo772 (Reply 22):
Contrary to popular belief fresh chickens are used on engine bird stike tests, for the simple reason that in nature a frozen bird cannot fly into an airplane engine.

Correct.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
harleyf150
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:28 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:45 am

Quoting Sabena 690 (Reply 6):
Sorry to go off topic, but I spotted you yesterday evening above Belgium! About eight minutes before you flew over COSTA (where you started crossing the North Sea).

The registration was A6-EMM if I'm not mistaken...

Regards
Frederic

Spot on Frederic Emirates 0003 yesterday was indeed 777-300 A6-EMM
 
AirbusCanada
Posts: 524
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:14 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:49 am

Quoting Noah008 (Reply 17):
I doubt it, they throw frozen chickens at the engines during testing, and they keep running fine.

well, a frozen chicken almost made two aviation giants RR and Lockeed bankrupt. When RR was developing RB211 with for Lockeed L-1011, they threw frozen chicken at the newly developed composite blades of RB211 to simulate bird strikes and the fans did not withstand the impact. Even though the RR engineers later fixed the problem, its was too late and govt had to bail out RR and Lockeed went out of civil aviation business.

Who would knew a frozen chicken can multi billion dollar damage?????
 
kaddyuk
Posts: 3697
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:04 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:01 am

Quoting BO__einG (Reply 19):
For the chickens, well despite being all frozen once it is inside the engine and takes on the superheated gases it will litteraly spray out blood from the rear end in the area around a thousand degrees.

A Thousand? Not Likely... the exhaust gas of most engines is around 700 Degrees

Quoting UA935 (Reply 26):

EK003 is always a 777, never an A340.

Since when have EK EVER operated A340's into LHR?
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
OldAeroGuy
Posts: 3185
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:04 am

Quoting AirbusCanada (Reply 29):
well, a frozen chicken almost made two aviation giants RR and Lockeed bankrupt. When RR was developing RB211 with for Lockeed L-1011, they threw frozen chicken at the newly developed composite blades of RB211 to simulate bird strikes and the fans did not withstand the impact. Even though the RR engineers later fixed the problem, its was too late and govt had to bail out RR and Lockeed went out of civil aviation business.

Who would knew a frozen chicken can multi billion dollar damage?????

Another version of the urban legend. If a frozen chicken had been used, the test would have been re-run with a thawed bird. Unfortunately, the RB211 blades were failing with unfrozen birds.

RR did solve the problem by changing the blade material and the engine delay did bankrupt RR. Lockheed did not go out of business as a direct result of this problem, but it did make it difficult for the L1011 in the market place.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
trent900
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:06 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:15 am

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 16):
Quoting Daleaholic (Reply 15):
Could a balloon be dangerous if ingested by the engine?

I doubt it, they throw frozen chickens at the engines during testing, and they keep running fine.

But you have to remember, a frozen chicken or lump of ice can be broken up fairly easily by the fan blades. A weather balloon on the other hand is made of natural rubber which doesn't break up to easily. Try putting a piece of ice in a blender and then a balloon, you'll soon see what happens. A balloon or plastic bag for example could get caught around a fan blade causing minor vibrations.

I did see a plastic shopping bag around a blade on a cfm a few weeks ago. The aircraft had just pulled onto stand and I noticed this white thing whizzing round. Very strange it looked.

D.
 
ZakHH
Posts: 1570
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 11:32 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:17 am

Quoting ReLAX (Reply 7):
I was shocked by the captain even announcing the event. All of us in business class looked at each other as if to say "does this mean an emergency landing?"



Quoting ReLAX (Thread starter):
seconds later, the captain came over the PA and announced that we had just collided with a meteoroligical balloon, but all was well.

Guess the same guys who worried about an emergency landing would have cried outrage if they heard about the incident later on and were not informed on board...

As you said - the captain explained what happened and that everything is alright. So what exactly were you shocked about?
Tired of a.net? Join a friendly aviation community!
 
KDTWflyer
Posts: 786
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:51 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:36 am

Do balloons ever show up on TCAS?
NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
 
Bohlman
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:52 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:52 am

How did the captain know within 30 seconds that it was a weather balloon that he hit, and not something like a regular balloon, Harry Potter, or, more likely, a B1rD?

Quoting Noah008 (Reply 17):
they throw frozen chickens? thats crazy what else do they throw at an engine for testing? and doese anyhting come oiut the back side?

Haven't you ever been to McDonald's?

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 30):
A Thousand? Not Likely... the exhaust gas of most engines is around 700 Degrees

And the bird or chicken would hit the fan blades first, not the exhaust section, unless it was a really, really fast bird. That, and the engine is designed (intentionally and not) to whip the resulting debris from a bird/chicken/balloon strike to the bypass area, which is most certainly not even 700 degrees.
I'm not pro-Boeing or pro-Airbus, I'm pro-crew all the way.
 
flight777
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 3:19 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:59 am

I can remember when I was in high school...many, many years back...I was in the Navy ROTC program. I lived in Gaithersburg, MD just north of DC and I took a drill team exposition trip to Daytona Beach. We actually flew out of Andrews Air Force base since we flew a Navy DC-9. On the way back into Andrews, there must have been some homes close to the end of the runway because just before touch down we lost altitude of guessing 50 to 100 ft. After we touched down the pilot told us that someone was flying a kite on the approach and he tried to avoid it. While leaving the plane I looked around and actually still saw some of the string on the wing. I guess this happens occasionally, but still scary. Especially a weather balloon. Must have had a thicker rope or tether!
 
User avatar
LH463
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 6:51 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:06 am

Wow what a story. These weather balloons are a pain in the a**. There is one down by Key West Florida that has it's own airspace 0-14,000 ft MSL. It's a hassle for VFR flyers in the area.
Turning final...
 
User avatar
United787
Posts: 2190
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:25 am

Quoting Corey07850 (Reply 10):
While not exactly life threatening, it could down the plane or maintenance and cost some $$$

Huh? Downing a plane sounds life threatening to me.

Quoting Trent900 (Reply 32):
Very strange it looked.

I didn't know Yoda was an aviation enthusiast.  biggrin 
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:37 pm

Quoting United787 (Reply 38):

Huh? Downing a plane sounds life threatening to me.

it was a typo... It should have read "Downing the plane FOR maintenance"

[Edited 2006-04-24 05:39:23]
 
bcbhokie
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:30 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:52 pm

Quoting Boysteve (Reply 21):
This reminds of a funny but true story. It's not directly related to commercial airlines but I feel it is worth telling none the less.
When British Rail was testing the High Speed Train in the early to mid 1970's they wanted to ensure that a bird strike could not break the windshield and thus injure the driver. They knew that NASA tested the windshields of its space vehicles by firing frozen chickens at them at very high speeds so decided to do the same. Every-time they carried out the test the windshield smashed beyond recognition and British Rail staffed could not work out why their test was failing. They made a phone call to NASA to explain their findings and to determine why the tests were giving different results. The answer that came back from NASA was loud and clear; "We thaw them out first".

There's an American show called MythBusters, aired on the Discovery Channel, where two stunt technicians test various urban legends to see if they're true. They built a (very impressive and powerful!) chicken gun and test fired at a Piper Cherokee's windscreen, and both frozen and thawed chickens produced identical results, shattering the windscreen. They later realized the windscreens they were using weren't rated for birdstrikes anyway, and changed strategies to instead measure force on impact of both thawed and frozen chickens using a very high speed camera. Both birds showed identical results, causing the MythBusters to declare the myth i've quoted above "busted" based on their experiences.

http://www.mythbustersfanclub.com/html/chicken_gun.html
 
AR385
Posts: 6735
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 12:52 pm

If the ballon gets lodged around some major control surface, it can create major havoc. Granted, it may be a rare event, but I deem it negligent on the part of someone (meteorologists, tower, arrival control) to never have mentioned the ballon--as the story is told--if that thing had lodged in the horizontal stabilizer, the plane could have been in trouble, specially at approach speeds.

Frozen, thawed or live birds can and will wreak havoc on a an engine. If more than one is ingested (as in a flock) they can make the engine go kaput. The E-3 that went down in Alaska, I believe, out of Elmendorf, suffered multiple engine failure due to bird ingestion. So, a bird, is not just a nuisance, neither is a weather ballon.
 
captainstorck
Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:40 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:13 pm

Quoting Noah008 (Reply 17):
they throw frozen chickens? thats crazy what else do they throw at an engine for testing? and doese anyhting come oiut the back side?

Chicken Nuggets..........
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 5971
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:43 pm

Quoting LH463 (Reply 37):


Wow what a story. These weather balloons are a pain in the a**. There is one down by Key West Florida that has it's own airspace 0-14,000 ft MSL. It's a hassle for VFR flyers in the area.

That is a DEA (or some other federal agency) survaillence balloon. They use it to track the drug runners and various other traffic in that area. There is also one in AZ near the border, again monitoring traffic and looking for undeclared low flying aircraft trying to sneak in.

tug
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
Oykie
Posts: 1563
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 9:21 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 5:26 pm

Quoting Flight777 (Reply 36):
Especially a weather balloon. Must have had a thicker rope or tether!

The weather balloon we used did not have any rope attached. We just let them go and tracked the balloon and the instrument box gave us data all the way. Kind of interesting to follow as there are different wind directions on the way up in the atmosphere, and sometimes it travels great distances.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
United737522
Posts: 410
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:33 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:05 pm

I am surprised that a weather balloon would not just be pushed away by the air pressure around the plane before striking it and also have the ability to give a 777 a "bump". Why would the captain know within 30 seconds that it was specifically a weather balloon, and not something else. Pretty amazing to know that. Why would the passengers care, if anything it would only worry them.
'Michael Mooronism' ~Jetjack74
 
jcf5002
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:41 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:27 pm

Quoting Kdtwflyer (Reply 34):
Do balloons ever show up on TCAS?

Not likely again because TCAS runs off information being brodcasted by an aircraft's transponder (if I am not mistaken) as opposed to an actual radar in the nose. It might show up on a weather radar, but I think it would be too small of a return to notice...

I only know this because when I am flying gliders, we fly under an area when the approach paths of IAD and BWI cross. IAD traffic is at around 5,500 ft msl and BWI is at 8,000 msl (-ish). Point is, we have to keep a sharp eye out for the traffic going in to each location because our gliders do not have transponders and will not show up on TCAS. They are easier to see then we are to them and I am sure a glider will do a bit more damage to a 777 than a weather balloon!

[Edited 2006-04-24 15:28:43]
Its always a sunny day above the clouds || CSEL, CMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI
 
justplanecrazy
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:26 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:25 pm

Do aircraft encounter frozen chickens,how do they fly and how do they escape from the supermarket?  eyepopping 
your pilots today on this 747 flight are captain oliver hardy and assisting will be FO stan laurel.Have a safe flight
 
OldAeroGuy
Posts: 3185
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:31 pm

Quoting Justplanecrazy (Reply 47):
Do aircraft encounter frozen chickens,how do they fly and how do they escape from the supermarket?

These sound like Jessica Simpson questions.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
starrion
Posts: 969
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:19 pm

RE: 22.04 : EK003 Encounters Weather Balloon

Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:34 pm

I hit a largish mylar balloon while on a downwind leg in my C-172. The only damage was to the air traffic contollers ears from the yelp I let on on the radio.

Given that it hit right in the vicinity of my pitot tube, it could have been a lot worse.
Knowledge Replaces Fear

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Aesma, Bing [Bot], compensateme, Dominion301, EPA001, ERJ170, FLIHGH, flyabunch, Google [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], greg787, jfklganyc, jumbojet, keesje, klwright69, MIflyer12, Noshow, Quantos, Revelation, sierra3tango, sirtoby, thomasphoto60, tjwgrr, Tvilum, usflyer123, VirginFlyer and 351 guests