Aero aircraft suffers bird strike in Kano, makes air return

  • Incident occurred during take-off-Airline

A Lagos bound Aero Contractors flight returned to Kano after one of the engines of the aircraft was hit by bird during take-off in what is popularly known as bird strike.

A bird strike—sometimes called birdstrike, bird ingestion (for an engine), bird hit, or bird aircraft strike hazard is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bats) and a moving vehicle, usually an aircraft.

Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. There are over 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone.

However, the number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about one accident resulting in human death in one billion flying hours.

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Aero Contractors B737-500 aircraft

The management of Aero Contractors in a statement on Sunday explained that for precautionary and safety reasons, “Aero Contractors had to make arrangements to ferry the aircraft back to Lagos to enable our engineers undertake a check on the engines and secure the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before returning it to service”.

It further explained that when the Captain heard the sound of the bird strike, he made a safety and professional decision to return back to land in Kano, despite all the engines being normal and within limit.

It further stated that, “After close examination, with the approval of NCAA and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the aircraft was ferried back to Lagos for further examination. We are currently doing everything possible to bring our passengers back to Lagos”.

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The carrier expressed regrets over the inconveniences suffered by its passengers on flight N2 142 which occurred at take-off.

Bird strikes have  become a major threat to air safety globally. Over the years, collision between birds and aircraft has resulted in the death of hundreds of people due to crashes, and have resulted into losses estimated at over  $1.2 billion to the global aviation industry.

Nigerian carriers are not insulated, as they continue to grapple with the challenges of bird strikes. In Nigeria,   data from the NCAA indicated that between 2005 and 2010, a total of 209 strike incidents were reported.

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Bird strikes not only lead to carriers losing money, it causes flight delays and disruptions to the operations of airlines.

As a global challenge, airlines, regulatory bodies and airport authorities are rethinking their strategies on the best containment measures.

In the United States, about $650 million is lost annually as a result of bird strikes.

Wole Shadare