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How risky are flights after a bird strike? Here’s all you need to know

Notably, bird hits are considered one of the common threats to the safety of flights.

A number of steps globally have been taken to prevent birds from coming near airplanes.

There were two major bird strike incidents on June 19th with two different flights. While one involved the Patna-Delhi SpiceJet, the other was an IndiGo plane from Guwahati to Delhi. Both flights had to return to their original airports for maintenance. DGCA on Sunday said that the bird strike resulted in the failure of engine 1 of the SpiceJet aircraft, which had to return to Patna airport. Similarly, flight 6E 6394 to Delhi was forced to return to Guwahati after a bird hit the plane soon after the take-off. While DGCA has decided to probe both incidents, we decided to break down for you, what exactly bird strikes are.

What are bird strikes?

Whenever a bird or a bat hits an airplane/flight, it is considered a bird strike. Notably, bird hits are considered one of the common threats to the safety of flights. These kinds of incidents mostly occur at the time of take-off or during the landing of flights. The most dangerous form of bird strike is considered when a bird is ingested into the engine of the plane. This danger increases further if many birds get stuck in the engine of the plane.

Among other reasons where a bird strike can be dangerous is when a bird hits the exterior of the plane, leading to cosmetic damage to the latter. These incidents may sometimes lead to the withdrawal of planes from services. One of the major examples of the one that took place in November 2020 in Congo. A MwantJet Embraer ERJ145 flight had its window smashed after the collision with the bird while taking off from Kinshasa airport.

How to prevent bird strikes?

A number of steps globally have been taken to prevent birds from coming near airplanes. These include cartridge scarers, predatory bird sound recordings, and drones. Experts feel that the above-mentioned steps are not enough. Many airports across the world have also tried to ensure that bird’s habitat near airports is reduced. For this reason, airports tend to cut trees down with nests, and reduce rainwater pooling, among other steps to avoid such incidents.

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