Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

Alert after Derry flight is struck by flock of birds

Passengers onboard a Ryanair flight which left City of Derry Airport were diverted to Dublin after the aircraft was struck by a flock of birds.

The flight, which was originally bound for Birmingham, was redirected to Dublin Airport to allow the airline’s engineers to examine the aircraft for potential damage as a standard procedure.

The incident happened on Monday afternoon — just after the plane began its journey to Birmingham.

A spokeswoman for City of Derry Airport said no-one was injured and passengers were transferred onto another flight to Birmingham at about 4pm.

“The airport was informed that passengers on the diverted FR1109 to Birmingham were put onto another aircraft at Dublin and departed onward to at approximately 4pm.” said the spokeswoman.

“The airport’s bird hazard management procedures were in operation and a report of the incident will be made to the relevant authorities.”

In January, a US Airways flight, carrying 150 passengers and five crew on board, was forced to ditch in the Hudson River in New York after a bird strike.

As it gained altitude moments after take off, the plane reportedly ran into a massive flock of birds over the river and subsequently lost power.

Miraculously, everyone on board survived the emergency landing.

The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft but result in a great number of bird fatalities.

Most accidents occur when the bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines causing the plane to lose power.

These cause damage that has been estimated at $400m annually within the US alone and up to $1.2bn to commercial aircraft worldwide.

The first recorded bird strike fatality was in 1912.

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