If you ever needed proof of what damage a bird can do when it hits a plane then you probably need to look no further than this picture. The Egyptair Boeing 737-800 was on approach to the runway in London when it was hit by a bird strike on the nose of the aircraft. The plane had flown out from Cairo, Egypt on Friday, and had 71 passengers on board. As well as blood smeared over the front of the plane, the radome cone was penetrated leaving a huge hole, with feathers clearly visible. The hole in the plane was 60 cm in diameter but the pilot was able to land safely. The were no casualties as a result of the incident.
The Aviation Herald reports that the aircraft was unable to depart for its return flight MS-780 and was grounded for 21 hours while it was repaired after a bird strike. Dai Whittingham, chief executive of the flight safety committee told media that the heavier the bird, the more damage it is capable of doing to an aircraft. 'Because the force of an impact is affected significantly by the speed (mass time the square of the velocity), higher speeds can result in much greater damage being done.'
Startling pictures, posted by Amir Hashim who works as a Senior Procurement Specialist at EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering, detail the extent of the damage caused to the Boeing 737-800 aircraft after it was hit by the bird on its nose cone. "SU-GDZ operating yesterday evening's MS779 arrival suffered a bird strike on approach," he wrote.
Heathrow is one of several airports that see flocks of migrating birds, mostly in spring and autumn, occassionally straying into the paths of aircraft. In the air transport industry, so-called "bird strike" is a relatively common occurance, although it is rarely a serious danger to the aircraft.
Ever wonder what a bird strike looks like in flight? Take a look!