Plane Vs Balloon

Tue Mar 20, 2001 5:02 pm

What would be the result of an American Airlines Md-80 striking a weather balloon at FL310 going around mach .76?

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Tue Mar 20, 2001 5:31 pm

I think the balloon would get sucked into the engines.

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Tue Mar 20, 2001 8:10 pm

The MD80 would probably bounce off the balloon.

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 2:41 am

I want some serious analysis as this almost happened on Sunday.
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:38 pm

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 2:44 am

Well, let's go with the 'balloon getting sucked in the engine' theory. It would probably core the engine, and the plane would have to make an emergency landing at a suitable site. I've heard about jet engines sucking in volcanic ash, with similar results.

Jack @ AUS
Posts: 1843
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 6:44 am

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 2:54 am

I don't think so much would happen. All engines are built to manage a collision with an objekt in the air. I saw pictures from the testing of on e engine for the 777 and nothing happend when they throwed a bird in it. So I don't think it would be affected.

Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2000 2:19 am

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 4:00 am

Booyala-Where did this almost happen?

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 4:06 am

I believe that the impact would probably cause comparable damage to that caused say by the impact with a large bird - like a goose. If the instrument package happened to be injested by an engine when you could write off that engine. It's not too hard to imagine a catastrophic scenario where the flight crew was incapacitated or worse, afterall, pilots have been killed as a result of bird strikes, but it's highly unlikely.
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 4:08 am

I dont think a weather balloon would have a whole lot of effect... they are very thin and would get melted near instantaneously by the engine core. The balloon is very light and doesnt have much mass at all... so i would say it would be less critical than a birdstrike.
Chicks dig winglets.

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 5:22 am

Booyala-Where did this almost happen?

About 10 nm miles north of the RZS VOR
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 9:10 pm

RE: Plane Vs Balloon

Wed Mar 21, 2001 7:05 am

As far as I know they don't just send the baloons up but it includes some instruments to measure temperature,pressure etc.So this baloon could have some package attached to it.And now think about it colliding it from the cocpit window.The result could be disasterous.On the other hand loosing an engine, can still make it to ground safely but anyting hitting onthe fuselage can seriously effect the aerodynamics in my opinion.
follow me on my facebook page" captain wing's journey log"

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos