Before we begin, here’s a little video for you to get an idea about what happens when a bird flies into a jet engine.
Take-off and landing are the most crucial parts of any flight. An engine going out during that time can prove disastrous.
And while modern engines are made out of tough materials and are quite resilient, the blades do suffer damage when foreign objects make an entry. Like birds.
For example, a Boeing 737 takes off at around 250 km/h. An average crow weighs around say 2 kg. The momentum of this little meeting comes to around 138 kg m/s. That is the equivalent of a 20 kg weight meeting your face at around 25 km/h. Yes, it’s not a pretty sight.
Why do bird strikes happen?
The garbage that cities dump in the open attracts birds that scavenge on it. And when the planes come in for a landing, these birds inadvertently hit the planes. Sometimes with terrible results.
Most passenger planes have two engines and pilots are trained to handle emergencies when taking off and landing. So even if one engine goes down, the plane is quite capable of flying on just one engine. Planes are also put through tests to see that they survive a mid air collision.
More often, these bird hits result in damaging the plane and passengers are usually safe. But it’s still a pretty scary thing to happen to you in the air.