The Week In Aviation Bird Strikes (Update)
It seems that each spring birds and bees fly around in harmony doing their things, being happy-happy, until there is the sudden sound of ‘whoosh-thwack-boom!’ as a bird is ingested by a turbofan. According to ABC News and the FAA, bird strikes happen about 20 times per day. This week was especially notable because three high profile strikes all happened last Thursday. Well, two were high profile (Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton) and another just happened to some common folks flying on Delta.
First up was a strike from a flock of birds on a Delta passenger plane out of JFK. I’m putting it first because it happened to non-heads-of-state, and sometimes we like to put the common man first here at Flyopia.com. Flight #1063 departed New York for Los Angeles when it struck what appears to be a flock or crows, or vultures (but probably not seagulls). Here’s video of the strike via ABC News. (NOTE: This video is what all the media outlets have been advertising as video of the strike. It does not show the strike, merely the flock just before the strike. So basically nothing to see here…move along. But I’ll put it anyway because everyone else did.) Apparently the strike was bad enough to cause the engine to shut down, which forced he pilots to declare an emergency and return to the airport.
Here’s a link to passenger Grant Cardone explaining the experience. I kind of get the feeling in hindsight he’s happy to have a video of himself posted on the Internet. But that’s another story.
(Update) And Again The Next Week…
And now the following week brings news of another commoner strike from the Washington Post. Luckily no one was hurt in this incident, and it wasn’t out of JFK. This one was a JetBlue flight, #571 out of Westchester County Airport in White Plains. It was heading to West Palm Beach Fl0rida, when it was forced to make an emergency landing after a strike. It apparently landed safely at a small unnamed regional airport in New York.
Next up was a bird strike on Vice President Joe Biden’s Air Force Two. The Veep’s 757 struck a bird in flight, but no emergency was declared, and it was reported no one inside the plane even realized it. It was however considered serious enough to ground the plane, and the VP took a Gulfstream III out of California.
ABC News has already made the Angry Birds reference jokes, but A bird strike also occurred on the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s trip to Paris. Again, no emergency was declared as it was with the Delta flight, but it was enough to make news, so we’ll include it. Birds do not like Obama Officials it seems. Below are photos obtained by Flyopia.com depicting what Biden and Clinton were probably doing at the time of their respective bird strikes:
Heres, a summary video of these stories in case you feel like watching. Notice the opening graphic which I find amusing, showing computer generated birds flying into a computer generated jet engine. In case you couldn’t imagine what a bird flying into an engine looks like.
Photo Credits: First photo textsfromhillary.tmblr.com and John Palminteri/KEYT Santa Barbara