News and Events

Major occurrences of the quarter April-June 2017
  • 1 April - Boston (MA)
    after take-off the crew asked the tower they needed a runway inspection for a possible bird carcass; the flight went on but later was diverted to Orlando (FL) for landing gear problems; the flight continued with a replacement aircraft; 
  • 1 April – Xiamen
    China Eastern A320, during the final approach a bird impacted the left engine causing damage to the engine nacelle; return flight cancelled; 
  • 5 April – Pensacola (FL)
    Envoy ERJ 170, during the final approach a bird impacted the right engine causing damage to be assessed; 
  • 8 April – Milwaukee (WI)
    Federal Express A300, during the initial climb the crew reported a bird strike to the Tower and decided to land back 7’ later; the flight continued with a replacement aircraft; 
  • 8 April – Washington (DC)
    American B737, on landing struck a bird; minor damage; 
  • 8 April – Teheran
    Lufthansa B747,  on final approach  the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and received a number of bird strikes suffering  damage to the leading edge and landing light of the right hand wing, the fuselage as well as an engine cowl;



    (Photo Danial Omidvar taken from Avherald.com) 
  • 9 April – Cape Town
    Mango B737, during the initial climb a Pelican (species unknown) impacted the leading edge of the left hand horizontal stabilizer causing a large dent; the crew continued the climb up to FL 330 then decided to land back in Cape Town;



    (The dent caused by the impact with a Pelican. Photo taken from 
    Avherald.com) 
  • 9 April – Raipur (India)
    Indigo A320, during the initial climb a bird impacted the nose cone causing a dent; immediate return 35’ later and aircraft replacement;
    http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/kolkata-bound-indigo-flight-made-emergency-landing-at-raipur-airport-after-bird-hit/621678 



    (Photo News World India)
  • 11 April – Varanasi (India)
    Jet Airways B737, during the final approach the right engine ingested a bird causing damage to three fan blades; return flight cancelled;
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/varanasi-bird-hits-jet-airways-flight-passengers-stranded/story-7z8Vrq78ilq7POuYnruZDN.html 
  • 14 April – Newark (NJ)
    Elite Airays CRJ 700, during the approach flew through a flock of large birds suffering damage to a wing;
  • 15 April – Amsterdam
    Alitalia A320, rejected take off at high speed (130 kts) due to a bird strike; flight delayed by 2,5 hours; 
  • 21 April – Lagos
    Dana MD83, during the initial climb an engine ingested a bird; the crew shut the engine down and landed back; 
  • 24 April – Kolkata (India)
    Air India B787, on approach an engine ingested a bird;
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/delhi-kolkata-air-india-flight-carrying-250-passengers-hit-by-bird-landing-safe/story-jDUeT8ZZTdNJCYOekL4vCI.html 
  • 26 April – Washington (National) (DC)
    Republic Airways ERJ175, during the initial climb at about 3000 ft. flew through a flock of birds receiving a strike; the crew decided to divert in emergency to Dulles airport; 
  • 27 April – Sao Paolo (Congonhas)
    LATAM Brasil A320, during the take-off struck a bird leaving debris on the runway; the crew decided to divert to Gaurulhos; Congonhas runway remained closed for 150 minutes;
    http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/noticia/aviao-da-latam-decola-de-congonhas-e-faz-pouso-de-emergencia-em-cumbica.ghtml 
  • 3 May – Moscow (Vnukovo)
    Turkish Airlines A330, during the initial climb flew through a flock of birds and suffered several strikes; immediate landing and grounded aircraft;  
  • 3 May – Naples
    Aer Lingus A320, during the initial climb flew through a flock of birds and an engine ingested one of them; the aircraft landed back about 40’ later; according to some sources both engines ingested birds;
    https://www.thesun.ie/news/947774/dublin-bound-aer-lingus-plane-forced-to-turn-back-after-aircraft-encounters-bird-strike 
  • 4 May – Madrid
    TAROM B737, during the final approach an engine ingested a bird; the aircraft could not fly the return leg and had to be replaced; 
  • 4 May – Sao Paulo (Viracopos)
    Azul Linhas Aereas ERJ 195,  during the initial climb a vulture impacted the aircraft just below the captain's windshield causing damage affecting pressurization; immediate return; a further  inspection also revealed  the left hand ice detector was fractured;
    http://g1.globo.com/sp/campinas-regiao/noticia/colisao-com-urubu-forca-aviao-a-retornar-para-viracopos-logo-apos-decolagem.ghtml 
  • 8 May – Kolkata
    Emirates B777, during the final approach the left engine was struck by a bird that caused minor damage; bird remains found on the left wing; the aircraft was unable to depart for its return flight;
    http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/society/emirates-in-kolkata-airport-bird-strike-1.2024100
  • 9 May – Bucharest
    Blue Air B737, suspected bird strike during the initial climb; landed back after 55’; aircraft replaced; 
  • 12 May – Ekaterinenburg
    Ural Airlines A321, during the initial climb an engine ingested a bird; immediate return and aircraft grounded; 
  • 12 May – Trondheim
    Norwegian Air Shuttle B737, during the final approach an engine infested a bird; the aircraft was unable to continue the schedule;
    https://www.thelocal.no/20140102/bird-strike-forces-norwegian-plane-to-turn-back



    (Bird remains on the left wing - Photo: Kristine Askvik/Scanpix) 
  • 13 May – Brussels
    Brussels Airlines A319, during the initial climb the aircraft received a bird strike and the crew decided to land back; after a 80 min. stop on the ground the aircraft departed again; 
  • 14 May - Catumbela (Angola)
    TAAG Angola Airlines B737, on approach the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and took a number of bird strikes to an engine that resulted damaged; 
  • 15 May - Karachi
    Serene Air B737, during the initial climb the aircraft received an impact with a bird that caused a crack in the windshield; immediate return and flight cancelled; 
  • 16 May – Bogota
    Avianca A320, during the initial climb the crew suspected a bird strike; in the absence of any abnormal indications the crew decided to continue the flight to destination (Mexico City, 4h10’ flight);an inspection revealed damage to one of the engines that forced the airline to cancel the return flight; 
  • 17 May – Washington (Dulles)
    Jetblue ERJ190, during the initial climb the crew reported they had hit something during rotation that caused a lot of noise from the nose wheel; ATC reported a bird was found on the runway; the crew then reported the vibrations had increased, declared emergency and requested emergency services on the runway; after landing the emergency staff reported a fuel leak and applied foam;
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4518784/JetBlue-flight-makes-emergency-landing-birdstrike.html 
  • 18 May – Columbus (OH)
    Mesa Airlines ERJ 175, during the initial climb a bird struck the left engine; the crew decided to land back immediately; minor damage; 
  • 21 May – Hyderabad (India)
    Cathay Pacific A330, during the initial climb suffered a bird strike onto the right side of the nose cone; immediate return 20’ later; 
  • 29 May – Moscow (Domodedovo)
    Izhavia Yak-42, during the initial climb an engine ingested a bird prompting the crew to land back 15’ later; aircraft replaced; 
  • 29 May – Karachi
    Serene Air B737, on approach a bird impacted the leading edge of the left hand wing and punctured the inboard slat;





    (Photos taken from Avherald.com) 
  • 30 May – Ahmedabad (or Delhi)
    Air India A321, after landing in Delhi, the airport of departure reported that a dead bird and metallic parts of a pitot probe were found on the runway; the airline reported the aircraft suffered a bird strike on landing while the crew confirmed they did not observe any abnormal indicationduring the flight; 
  • 31 May – Bucaramanga (Colombia)
    Avianca A320, during the initial climb a bird impacted the nose cone causing a dent; immediate return 25’ later;



    (Photo taken from Avherald.com)
  • 1 June – Rijeka
    Bulgaria Air ERJ190, after take-off the left engineingested a bird and began to severely vibrate prompting the crew to immediately land back about 6 minutes after departure;
  • 1 June – Chicago
    United B737, after take-off  the right engine ingested a bird resulting in a number of bangs and streaks of flames from the engine; the crew shut the right engine down and landed back about 25’ later; 
  • 5 June – Merida (Mexico)
    Interjet A320, during the initial climb a bird was ingested into an engine; immediate return 25’ later; 
  • 10 June – Leipzig
    Volga Dnepr Antonov An 124, when slowing down after landing with reverse thrust engaged, one bird was ingested into the no. 3 engine;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa9jC7QbUnw 
  • 12 June – Istanbul
    THY B737,in the initial climb the crew reported there was a flock of sea gulls, about 300 birds, on the runway; the crew continued the climb but then decided to return to Istanbul as result of a bird strike; 
  • 16 June – Cuiaba (Brazil)
    GOL B737, during the initial climb the right engine ingested a bird prompting the crew to shut it down and to return for landing 25’ later;
  • 16 June – Dallas (TX)
    Southwest B737, in the initial climb one engine ingested birds prompting the crew to return for landing about 10 minutes after departure; flight  cancelled;unknown damage to be assessed; 
  • 21 June – Delhi
    GoAir A320, during the initial climb a bird struck the aircraft prompting the crew to return for landing about 20’ later; India’s media reported however that the crew shut down the good, unaffected engine after a bird had been ingested by the other engine during take-off; the crew soon recognized their mistake and restarted the shut down engine;
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/pilots-switch-off-healthy-engine-after-bird-hit/articleshow/59276868.cms
  • 25 June – Santa Cruz de la Palma (Spain)
    Iberia Express A320, after take-off the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and the left hand engine ingested a number of them;  the crew decided to divert to the airport of Las Palmas 45’ later; 
  • 29 June– Inverness
    Easyjet A320, during the initial climb an engine ingested a bird; immediate return 30’ later; 
  • 30 June – Bourgas
    Condor A321, during the initial climb the left engine ingested a bird; the crew declared emergency and landed back immediately; the aircraft was unable to depart for the return flight; 
  • 30 June – Cairo
    Saudi Arabian Airlines A330, during the final approach a bird struck the nose cone causing a dent;



    (Photo taken from Avherald.com)
 
 
Wildlife Strikes disappear from the yearly ANSV report on civil aviation safety

The Italian Agency for Flight Safety (ANSV) recently published its 2016 report on the civil aviation safety. In contrast to the past years, when at least few lines were dedicated to the issue, this year the matter completely disappeared from the report, with the exception of a short note regarding the number of bird strike reports to be taken into consideration: “ANSV decided to consider only reports that regard actual damage to aircraft”.


 
Bird strikes are “extraordinary circumstances' according to the European Court of Justice

In a recent trial, the European Court declared that "a collision between an aircraft and a bird is an extraordinary circumstance". Therefore, airlines can reject claims for compensation from passengers, as stated in the Reg. EC 261, in case of delay or flight cancellation. The verdict obviously was welcome by European airlines that have seen recognized their right not to be responsible for events that occur beyond their control; it left instead disappointed many Consumers’ Associations that are managing pending compensation requests for millions of Euros. If it is true that in so many cases a bird strike cannot be avoided by an aircraft (therefore without fault or responsibility), it is true as well that many bird strikes can be prevented by the adoption of proper measures by other subjects (i.e. airport operators and others). In conclusion, we think that a new damage compensation system is needed, fast and certain like that provided by the EC261, also at the expense of other entities.


 
ENAC: Corporate Annual Report 2016

On May 2017 ENAC released its 2016 Corporate Annual Report:

http://www.enac.gov.it/repository/ContentManagement/Information/P1535127749/ENAC 2016 ita low.pdf

Inside the report, a page (pag. 109) has been dedicated to the Wildlife Strikes. It does not contain novelties, apart from a preview of the 2016 strike data, not definitive yet. The text recalls more or left the same concepts and the same information of the past years, but at least it shows the ENAC will to consider the problem of wildlife strike as important and still existing, differently from other important entities that completely omitted even to mention it (see below the controversial choice of ANSV).


 
EASA releases the Annual Safety Report 2017: 13.003 bird/wildlife strikes in 27 countries

From 2012 to 2016 EASA received from the 27 joint countries 13.003 reports of bird/wildlife strikes, with 2 events of serious incidents, with regard to commercial air transport aeroplanes. For further details, please download the report at the link below:


 
Released the final report for the accident occurred to the Fokker 50 5Y-SIB

Kenya's AAID (Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation) released their final report on the accident occurred to the aircraft Fokker 50 5Y-SIB on 4 January 2015. The left hand main gear did not extend and lock in the down position due to the impact with two birds that disabled proper functioning of the mechanical system that controls the opening and closing the door to the left main landing gear (MLG). The crew then decided to perform a belly landing (with all gear up) and landed the aircraft. No injuries occurred but the aircraft suffered substantial damage.

The AAID also released several interesting recommendations we may agree with, but did not mention the crucial point, in our opinion, regarding the need of a better shielding of the landing gear apparatus in case of bird strikes. The topic has been recently discussed during the WBA meeting in Amsterdam on December 2016.

 
ICAO/ACI Wildlife Strike Hazard Reduction Symposium

The meeting took place in Montreal from 15 to 18 May 2017 and was organized by ICAO and ACI (Airports Council International). The following is the link to download the several presentations:

Our comments on this important conference can be released in the near future.

 
The role of air traffic control in the prevention of wildlife strikes at airports

Air traffic control plays a fundamental role in accident prevention within a generally clear and detailed regulatory framework. However, some air navigation service providers have been involved in legal proceedings following birdstrike events; at least in one case the Control Tower has been sentenced by a Court to refund part of the damage following an assignment of liability.

With this paper  Valter Battistoni aims to provide an analysis of the ICAO regulation on this matter, not just to ascertain possible liabilities of air traffic control in birdstrike events, but rather to assess whether and how the aforementioned regulation takes into account the role of ATC in preventive actions for safety purposes. It will also seek to understand whether the ICAO regulation is applied in a uniform way in the technical manuals of different countries, or if dissimilar interpretations exist. This is also in consideration of the introduction in several airports of new remote sensing instruments, avian radars, which will also pose additional problems of management and responsibility.

 
 
 
 
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