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Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:31 pm

I read recently of a Delta plane that had a bird strike to the nose. It was severely dented but landed without incident. I have seen other pictures like this as well. My question is what is the experience like in the cockpit when this happens? I would imagine it is very loud and quite startling. Can anyone speak to this experience?
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:03 pm

About 12 years ago, I was giving line training to a new FO from BLR to DXB on a 744F. Took off at dawn and passing FL100, the radar failed. Switched to the 2nd system and immediately got another fail EICAS message. Thought the antenna had packed up. Weather was VFR the entire route and not a single CB forecast for the entire route. So, we elected to continue.
Engine instruments were all normal, cockpit noise level was normal. So, just thought it was a system failure. Sent an ACARS to OPS and told them what happened and we were going to continue.
Upon arrival in DXB pulling into the parking spot we noticed people pointing and staring. Couldn't figure out what was going on. Shutdown and the ground engineer plugs in and asks if we are OK? We say we are and why was he asking. He replied "Did we know what happened?". Down we went and proceeded to the crowd that was gathering.
Looked up and we had taken a bird strike right at the tip of the radome and it had collapsed a good 30cm. The antenna couldn't complete the sweep and that was what caused the failure.
Needless to say, the freighter didn't go anyplace for a few days.
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:10 pm

From a Mx personnel point of view, if there is a minor bird strike, it can result in a minor dent which may result in internal delamination or if we are lucky it may just have blood stains. In case of a Vulture or an Eagle hit, usually the impact is far severe and can result in rupture of Radome with damage to Wx and other antennas enclosed inside. May also result in structural damage of the front pressure bulkhead which may result in a few days of downtime.
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:54 pm

One of the Boeing Company’s Challengers had a nose strike that penetrated to foreword bulkhead and was shredded around the CRT displays. Somewhere I have a pic of the feathers and guts hanging out of the panel. I suspect it happens so fast, it’s over before you are aware of it.

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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:29 pm

I've has several bird strikes at the most unlikley times and places. Going into SFO one night around midnight we were slowing to 250kts at 10,000 when we saw several flashes in the landing lights which we turned on below FL180 in those days. Must have been geese or high flying ducks. Apparently we took one in the number 2 engine which was at idle. When spooled up during the final approach there was a little vibration noted on the number 2 start lever. When we went into reverse there was a significant vibration followed by the tower saying he observed fire from the number 2 eng. We simply did a normal shut down with the start lever The next day they did an engine change.
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:24 am

The sound all depends on how big a bird and where it hits. On an engine your not likely to hear the bird hit because the cockpit is so far from the engine , You hear the engine slowing down or flying apart. For bird strikes on the nose its ranges from a dull thud to a loud bang and the whoosh of the cabin decompressing afterwards when the bird makes a hole in the pressure vessel. I've had several aircraft come in with skin punctures and the radome is probably the best place to hit a big bird since the radome and radar dish more or less stop the bird and it just splatters on the pressure bulkhead. The worst I've seen come in hit a pterodactyl about 2 feet below the FO's windshield. It bent in two frames before the reinforced structure of the windshield cutout caused it the penetrate the skin, obliterate the avionics rack,and extrude through the instrument panel and cover the FO and aft bulkhead with guts. We ended up changing the nose of that plane up to the pax door.
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:59 am

battlegroup62 wrote:
The worst I've seen come in hit a pterodactyl

Must have been quite a LONG aviation career to have experienced that! Yabba-dabba-doo!
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Re: Bird Strike Nose--Experience

Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:47 am

aeropix wrote:
Must have been quite a LONG aviation career to have experienced that! Yabba-dabba-doo!

Yeah we didnt have any bird experts but it was big.

Picture, not mine, was before it got to us for repair. It had to ferry to us with a 4x4 patch cherrymaxed over it so we could take off the whole nose and put a replacement on.

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