On Nov. 10, at 07.56 LT, a Ryanair B737 serialled EI-DYG, flying from Frankfurt to Rome as FR4102 suffered a serious bird strike during the final approach to the RWY 15 of the Rome-Ciampino airport. The aircraft, carrying 166 passengers, was fully established on the ILS when it impacted multiples birds, some of which were sucked by the engines. As a consequence, the aircraft performed an emergency landing at the end of which, it overshoot the runway. As soon as the pilot steered the aircraft back in the runway the left main landing gear, that had been substantially damaged, collapsed and the B737 came to a rest on the left engine nacelle. 7 people on board (5 passengers and 2 cabin crew) sufferend minor injuries after evacuating the aircraft using the emergency exits. As a result of the accident, Rome-Ciampino airport has been closed since to all traffic since the aircraft is being examined and removal will take some time. The airport should be opened again at 17.00LT (16.00GMT) today Nov. 11.
Bird strikes are rare in commercial aviation but pose a threat especially during take off and landing phases. Because of birdstrikes, the Civilian Aviation suffers on average 1.2 billion dollars damages each year. Military aviation is even more exposed to the risk, since aircraft fly often at lower altitudes (where more birds can be found) and higher speeds (that render reaction time shorter and avoidance much difficult). An accident similar to that happened to the Ryanair 737 took place on Nov. 5 2007 when an Italian AF F-16 crash landed in Trapani after colliding with a flock of birds during the landing procedure (too read more: Birdstrike). Despite the birdstrike, the Italian pilot was able to land but could not keep the aircraft on the runway and was compelled to eject.
I was interested to read your blog. However, you state that Birdstrikes to commercial aircraft are rare, when in fact this is incorrect. You will be aware of course that the USA published details of birdstrikes to aircraft in the BASH report published via http://wildlife.pr.erau.edu/ where they are recording cirac 10k birdstrike reports per year, and the US authorities stat that they only get to know about 20% of all strikes. So, Birdstrikes are in fact not rare, but those which cause serious damage, thankfully are. In terms of cost to industry, conservative estimates suggest that more routine damage and delays following birdstrikes cost the industry and its insurers US$1.2-1.5 billion per year. Rare?
London Heathrow Airport operators clear the area regularly of birds. I hope the Italian authorities adopt this safty feature as soon as possible. It will reduce the likely hood of birdstikes.
Being a pilot myself, it breaks my heart to see a skybeauty damaged on crash landing, not to mention the horror passangers and crew went throught.
Nadeem Ayub – Chingford London
thank you for your interest. For sure I meant that birdstrike causing troubles are rare.
I’ve read the BASH report and I would say that even considering the minor birdstrikes, encouters are somehow rare:
according to the report, in the 1990 – 2007 period there were 79,972 birdstrikes that become 82,057 comprising also strikes with bats, mammals, reptiles, etc, on 496.04 million movements thus 1.181/10,000 movements….not so many in my opinion.