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By PinkeePublished 12 months ago 3 min read
Video Credit Reserved To NBC News

On Sunday morning, an American Airlines flight bound for Phoenix had to return to Ohio's John Glenn Columbus International Airport after a bird strike disabled one of its engines. According to FlightAware, the takeoff was scheduled for 7:43 a.m., and the bird strike occurred around 8 a.m. As a result of the bird strike, the plane's No. 2 engine caught fire, as seen in a cellphone video that has been verified by NBC News. The video shows flames from the engine licking the plane's right wing. Fortunately, the flight landed safely back at the airport, and there were no injuries reported. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, had 173 passengers and crew on board and was carrying 30,000 pounds of fuel.

Passenger John Fisher, who was on the flight, told NBC affiliate WCMH of Columbus that the passengers were quickly made aware of the bird strike because of the collision's sounds. "Apparently we struck a flock of geese, and the engine started making real loud ‘clonk, clonk, clonk' noises," Fisher said. "They eventually turned the engine off and turned around and went back to the airport."

After the aircraft landed, emergency crews responded, but the airport's flight schedule was not affected. American Airlines issued a statement confirming that the flight had landed safely and had been taken out of service for maintenance. "Our team is working to get customers back on their way," the statement said.

According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, bird strikes are common and potentially catastrophic for domestic air travel, with 350 deaths over the history of U.S. passenger flights being attributed to them. The FAA defines large birds, among the most dangerous elements of nature for pilots, as those that weigh four pounds or more. "There is no aircraft engine certified to ingest a large bird without shutting down," the agency says in a resource paper on the phenomenon.

One of the most notable bird strikes occurred on January 15, 2009, when an Airbus A320 designated as US Airways flight 1549 from New York City's LaGuardia Airport struck a flock of geese so large that it took out both engines and turned the roughly 70-ton aircraft into a glider. Retired pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger moved quickly and aimed the plane for the Hudson River, where his emergency landing was a success, with no fatalities.

The FAA believes that bird strikes may be on the rise in the U.S. because bird populations have been increasing, while aircraft have become quieter. The pilot's association claims that the number of Canada geese in the country has tripled in the last decade. They weigh an average of 12 pounds and can disable engines individually.

According to the association, pilots are advised to avoid wetlands, be aware of bird migration seasons and patterns, and always be prepared for bird strikes since they appear to be inevitable.

The FAA's Wildlife Strike Database shows that from 1990 to 2019, there were a total of 229,000 reported wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States. The data shows that bird strikes account for over 97% of these events. In 2020 alone, there were 12,700 bird strikes reported, which was a decrease from the previous year, likely due to the decline in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bird strikes pose significant risks to aviation safety. Even small birds can cause damage to aircraft, including breaking windshields, damaging engines, and compromising the flight's overall structural integrity. Therefore, bird strike prevention is a crucial aspect of aviation safety.

In conclusion, while bird strikes are common, they can have potentially catastrophic consequences, and aviation authorities must take them seriously. Pilots must

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  • Pinkee (Author)12 months ago

    I messed up the title I copied the wrong title from the story I wrote I understand its a touchy subject sorry

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