The bird didn’t do well out of this

birdstrike

Hell of a bird strike, no? Wasn’t a sparrow, that’s fer sure.

Goose maybe? Anyone actually know how big a bird would have to be to cause that?

36 thoughts on “The bird didn’t do well out of this”

  1. Planes regularly get hit by birds, some quite large, yet they never fall out of the sky (the plane, not the bird). They might have to do an emergency landing if the bird is ingested in the engine or hits the wind-shield, but they have never crashed. Drones (or more accurately quad-copters) are about the same size and weight and mass so whilst they should be banned around airports, the hype that they could bring down a plane is a bit too high.

  2. “SadButMadLad
    March 14, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Planes regularly get hit by birds, some quite large, yet they never fall out of the sky . . . the hype that they could bring down a plane is a bit too high.”

    All true, all irrelevant.

    Its not important how dangerous drones *really are*. What’s important is this is an opportunity from some power-seeker to be seen to *do something*. Laws to be passed, agencies to staff, budgets to increase – who *cares* if its comparable to an already existing danger that we already have the processes in place to deal with.

    Its the same thing all over – cell phones while driving, DUI, sexting, etc.

  3. SBML, The plane that was crash-landed in the Hudson was a bird-strike. Rare, granted, and a controlled glide landing isn’t ‘falling out of the sky’ but landing without power to the engines doesn’t always end so well.

  4. Captain Sullenberger flew through a large flock of (probably) geese. Not much chance of flying through a flock of drones.

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    JuliaM – “Frozen chicken..?”

    Bit hard to get the cannon all the way up there.

    (On the off chance there is someone who doesn’t know, which I doubt, planes are tested by firing frozen chickens at them with an air cannon)

    Bird strikes do kill people. Much less these days. But it has been a common hazard for some time:

    The first reported bird strike was by Orville Wright in 1905. According to the Wright Brothers’ diaries, “Orville … flew 4,751 meters in 4 minutes 45 seconds, four complete circles. Twice passed over fence into Beard’s cornfield. Chased flock of birds for two rounds and killed one which fell on top of the upper surface and after a time fell off when swinging a sharp curve.”[4]

    In 1911 French pilot Eugene Gilbert encountered an angry mother eagle over the Pyrenees Mountains en route from Paris to Madrid during the great aviation race held that year between those two cities. Gilbert, flying an open-cockpit Bleriot XI, was able to ward off the large bird by firing pistol shots at it but did not kill it.[52]

    The first recorded bird strike fatality was reported in 1912 when aero-pioneer Cal Rodgers collided with a gull which became jammed in his aircraft control cables. He crashed at Long Beach, California, was pinned under the wreckage, and drowned.[3][53]

    The greatest loss of life directly linked to a bird strike was on October 4, 1960, when a Lockheed L-188 Electra, flying from Boston as Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, flew through a flock of common starlings during take-off, damaging all four engines. The aircraft crashed into Boston harbor shortly after takeoff, with 62 fatalities out of 72 passengers.[54] Subsequently, minimum bird ingestion standards for jet engines were developed by the FAA.

    And my favourite:

    The Space Shuttle Discovery also hit a bird (a vulture) during the launch of STS-114 on July 26, 2005, although the collision occurred soon after lift-off and at low speed, with no obvious damage to the shuttle.

    I bet that won him epic bragging rights wherever dead vultures go when they die. “So you were taken by a cat were you? I was hit by a frickin’ Space Shuttle, dude!”

  6. On the off chance there is someone who doesn’t know, which I doubt, planes are tested by firing frozen chickens at them with an air cannon

    I’m pretty sure they’re not. I can possibly believe some planes were tested once by firing non-frozen chickens or other poultry at an airframe, but a frozen chicken? The results would be worth watching but wouldn’t tell you very much.

  7. Quite, it’s not a frozen chicken. The story comes from the 125 train program. They realised that those sorts of speeds meant that they would need to test the effects of a bird strike. So, they got the chicken gun flown in (this is real, to test effect of bird strikes on engines). Fired one off, went right through front windscreen, through back of metal chair, buried itself in back of cab.

    Hmm, so, asked for a full report from Lockheed (??) owners of the chicken gun. Said report starting with the line “first, defrost your chicken”.

    There are engineers around who swear this story is true. Not sure if there’s actually any evidence.

  8. @Agammamon That is actually what I was thinking of, but I thought the reference might be too obscure…

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “I’m pretty sure they’re not. I can possibly believe some planes were tested once by firing non-frozen chickens or other poultry at an airframe, but a frozen chicken? The results would be worth watching but wouldn’t tell you very much.”

    At 800 mph does it matter if the chicken is frozen or not?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_gun

    Mythbusters did a comparative test. It was impressive to look at. I think they decided it made a difference. Then decided it didn’t. So whatever the truth is, the effect is not large if it exists at all.

    By the way, this is why a lot of people do not want to get promoted in the Army. They end up doing sh!t like this:

    http://weaponsman.com/?p=30290

    “We are not exactly redesigning how to go to the moon, right? This is a pistol. … And arguably, it is the least lethal and important weapon system in the Department of Defense inventory.”

    Milley said at the conference that the program is an example of a bureaucratic system that makes it overly complicated to get field equipment to soldiers on the frontlines in a timely matter.

    “[A] 367-page requirement document. Why? Well, a lawyer says this, and a lawyer says that, and you have to go through this process and that process and you have to have oversight from this that and the other.”

    “The testing — I got a briefing the other day — the testing for this pistol is two years. Two years to test technology that we know exists. You give me $17 million on the credit card, I’ll call Cabela’s tonight, and I’ll outfit every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine with a pistol and I’ll get a discount on it for bulk buys.”

  10. The first reported bird strike was by Orville Wright in 1905. According to the Wright Brothers’ diaries, “Orville … flew 4,751 meters in 4 minutes 45 seconds, four complete circles. Twice passed over fence into Beard’s cornfield. Chased flock of birds for two rounds and killed one which fell on top of the upper surface and after a time fell off when swinging a sharp curve.”

    Somehow I don’t think the Wright Brothers kept their diaries in metric.

  11. Mythbusters did a comparative test. It was impressive to look at. I think they decided it made a difference. Then decided it didn’t. So whatever the truth is, the effect is not large if it exists at all.

    Which is probably right, but my initial thoughts, as an engineer, is why the hell anyone would attempt to replicate a bird strike with a frozen chicken. Planes aren’t going to be struck by a chicken, but I can see why somebody would use a chicken to replicate the type of bird a plane would hit. But why freeze the damned thing? Makes no sense.

    But my other point was that I am fairly sure planes are not routinely tested to withstand bird strikes using a chicken canon. Sure they exist, and would have been used previously, and might even still be used for supersonic aircraft. But you don’t need to fire a chicken at an airframe to estimate what would happen, you’d just apply the associated force (F=MA) in the computer model and see what stresses result. A decent aircraft engineer, and especially an aircraft manufacturer with an entire team and years of experience and empirical data, could probably estimate the order of magnitude of force and expected results without even running a calculation.

    In my line of work we consider the impact of a dropped object on subsea pipelines. We work out what protection is required, and a max. size of item which can be lifted over a live line, without dropping something first and seeing what happens.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “But why freeze the damned thing? Makes no sense.”

    If they are frozen they are easier to handle. People tend to object to blood and feathers. They can be stored until needed. What do you do with real live chickens? Who feeds them? They come pre-killed. You want to fire a live chicken or you want to twist its head off before loading?

    The chicken gun was first used in the mid-1950s at de Havilland Aircraft, Hatfield, United Kingdom. It was fired with a correct countdown from a ‘pill box’ housed in the woods at de Havilland’s. The chickens were killed shortly before firing and obtained from a local farm also at the edge of the woods.

    Reading that, I can’t help pitying the poor buggers whose job it was to kill them.

    “But my other point was that I am fairly sure planes are not routinely tested to withstand bird strikes using a chicken canon.”

    These days?

    At first, bird strike testing by manufacturers involved firing a bird carcass from a gas cannon and sabot system into the tested unit. The carcass was soon replaced with suitable density blocks, often gelatin, to ease testing. Current testing is mainly conducted with computer simulation,[20] although final testing usually involves some physical experiments (see birdstrike simulator).

    Gelatin is even better for handling and storage of course.

    “In my line of work we consider the impact of a dropped object on subsea pipelines.”

    Pipes are well known and made from even better known materials. A plane is a much more complex body. The windows and the joins would be the bits that needed the most testing I would guess. If you used a new type of plexiglass, would you be sure you could model it without firing the odd chicken at it? I am not sure engines are particularly easy to model at all. But as they say, these days most of it is done by computer.

  13. If they are frozen they are easier to handle. People tend to object to blood and feathers. They can be stored until needed. What do you do with real live chickens? Who feeds them? They come pre-killed. You want to fire a live chicken or you want to twist its head off before loading?

    I’m just a thick engineer, but I’d buy a frozen chicken and thaw it out overnight before firing it.

    Current testing is mainly conducted with computer simulation,[20] although final testing usually involves some physical experiments (see birdstrike simulator).

    Yeah, thought so without looking it up. 🙂

    Pipes are well known and made from even better known materials. A plane is a much more complex body. The windows and the joins would be the bits that needed the most testing I would guess.

    Complex, but with almost 100 years of development, hundreds of millions of hours of field data, and every aspect studied to the thousandth degree.

    If you used a new type of plexiglass, would you be sure you could model it without firing the odd chicken at it?

    Sure. Whack it with a hammer with an accelerometer attached. Record the force. If a chicken would need to be travelling at Mach 2 before generating that force on impact, you’re good to go.

  14. “If you don’t like feathers, just fire a dog at the test-piece.”

    There’s a noisy mutt down the road from me – a tenner to smear him across the canopy of a Dreamliner….

  15. This stuff with drones I do find interesting. A Canada goose averages 8-9lb, and is largely mush. Drones can weigh several times that and be composed of (AOT) metal, batteries and fuel. Presumably there’s a different level of potential damage there? I don’t know. I do know that pilots of my acquaintance are concerned about them, and not just (as far as I know) because they’re being frightened into it by overreactions by the authorities.

    This amused me, sickly: http://www.dronethusiast.com/complete-retard-flies-drone-over-istanbul-airport/

  16. Bloke not in Cymru

    Having seen what an engine looked like after a bird strike involving a vulture its impressive what can happen when objects meet at speed that aren’t intended to meet, even if one of them isn’t squishy bird and the other is metal blades spinning at speed. The damage to the blades themselves was the most surprising part.

  17. I do know that pilots of my acquaintance are concerned about them…

    Are they also among those pilots who are “concerned” about mobile phones on flights?

  18. SMFS

    I am sure there are guys on the Knebworth estate and locality who are well-versed in wringing the necks of birds – pheasants, partridges etc, even chickens when push comes to shove and you have to earn an honest living.

  19. ‘Are they also among those pilots who are “concerned” about mobile phones on flights?’

    ‘No’, not ‘as far’ as I ‘know’.

    ‘Why?’

  20. Just out of curiosity, just spoken to a mate who flies A380s for BA as a first officer.

    His response re phones was ‘I couldn’t really give a shit’ as they don’t have any effect.

    His response re drones was (pretty much verbatim) ‘I am actually quite concerned, mostly about the possibility of catastrophic engine fire or uncontained damage, though the risk of the latter is probably quite slight. No-one seems to know exactly what would happen but surely no-one but a fucking idiot thinks it’s a good idea to run the risk of allowing metal and batteries to be ingested into engines, especially on climbout or landing. Would be more concerned on twin engined aircraft than four.’

    So that’s from one particular horse’s mouth. According to my chum Balpa are all over it at the moment, but are also not bothered about mobile phones (other than to say they shouldn’t be allowed in the hold because of the risk of battery related fire).

    Hope this helps.

  21. His response re phones was ‘I couldn’t really give a shit’ as they don’t have any effect.

    Excellent! Because the handful of pilots I spoke to over the years pompously pointed out that mobile phone use on planes was dangerous because they knew some dubious anecdotes and had vague ideas of what “could” happen, and their concerns might as well have been translated as “we are in charge and you will do as we say, oiks!”.

    I ask because if your friends were concerned about mobile phone use, we could probably ignore what they had to say about drones. As it turns out they are not, they are perhaps worth listening to.

  22. Intractable Potsherd

    The thing with drones is that we just don’t know what will happen in the event of a plane being hit by one, because (as far as I can find) it hasn’t happened yet, and I can’t find any reports of simulations* (e.g. drone fired from a chicken-gun). I know that there are lots of different sizes of drone, and the location of a strike will be important, but it would be good to have some actual empirical data *before* it happens in real life so that potential responses can be evaluated.

    *Except a faked video doing the rounds last June: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/drones-smashes-planes-wing-terrifying-5939459 (the source may not be reliable, of course).

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