Travelling in a plane is a chance of survival, survival when the pilot keeps to safety measures, most times we really can’t blame the pilots when there are plane crashes, there are some natural occurrence that is way beyond their control and happens suddenly. For example, how can you explain a case where there were airstrikes?
Many have been asking of truly, planes get hit when they were travelling and apart from the usual plane crash, are there cases when a plane encounters a strange object in the air? The answer to these questions is yes!
Yes, they do. And usually, it doesn’t turn out well for both the plane and the object.
Bird strikes are relatively common and their impact can be severe. This plane, for example, flew through a flock of small birds. That plane was lucky it only hit small birds. The birds obviously weren’t that lucky. Meanwhile, a big bird could cause damage like this. Imagine the damage a small flock caused, imagine if they are bigger ones.
And while birds are the most common objects hit by planes, they aren’t the only ones. There’s a good reason drones are strictly prohibited around airports, but occasionally someone is stupid enough to do so anyway. The result looks like the pictures below…
Another twist is, What would happen if an airplane hit a bird in the air?
- An aeroplane hitting a bird in the air, can be best imagined as a linear collision problem.
- Consider the average bird weighing about 1-2 kgs (minimum) flying at about 10-15 kmph.
- Now consider a commercial airliner, which at a low altitude of about 3000 ft acquires a velocity close to 200 knots, which is about 360 kmph.
- Now a head-on collision with a bird, disregarding all possible sad seen sentiments for the bird is a problem of a collision involving momentum transfer.
- The bird collides with a random part of the aircraft, and due to relative velocity, the bird is like a 2kg object striking a stationary airliner at about 370-380 kmph. That’s about 105m/s and hence assuming that the bird doesn’t rebound from the airliner and remains attached to the fuselage, a maximum force of 210 N acts on a relatively small part of the aircraft.
- Bringing in, strength of materials, this kind of a collision is classified as an ‘impact’ and has a stressing effect which is twice the effect than the situation wherein a load of 210 N is slowly applied to the small area of the fuselage.
- From this, we can understand that a bird hit is very similar to taking a bullet.
- Now if the bird hits the relatively sensitive parts like, the tail or the elevator you have a screwed up control surface which could be very serious.
- If it hits a projecting pitot tube, you may have screwed up instruments.
- If it, however, hits the engines, it can cause engine failure in the worst case and in the best case the bird may be chopped up by the compressor and burnt to ashes by the turbine and released as a gas through the exhaust, causing damage nevertheless.
- Bird strikes, in the early stage of takeoff, can be fatal, with very less altitude and speed to make a recovery, same goes for landings, although aircraft travel relatively slower for landings.