Malta Air (Ryanair) Boeing 737-800 suffers bird strike during approach Bologna Airport


On 24 November, a Malta Air (operating for Ryanair) Boeing 737-800 (registered 9H-QDG) operated flight FR1194 between London Stansted, United Kingdom, and  Bologna, Italy. During the approach towards the Italian airport, the aircraft was hit by a flock of herons. 

The pilots were able to safely continue the landing at Bologna Airport, despite damage to the nose, windshield, both wings. A few herons were ingested by the right-hand engine, which suffered a compressor stall.

A post-flight inspection revealed that the left-hand engine was also hit. Following pictures with the damage to the aircraft appeared on social media:

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At the moment of writing, the aircraft is still grounded at Bologna Airport.


  1. Umm, Bart, I think you’ll find that the aircraft hit a flock of herons, not the other way round. I seriously doubt that the birds intentionally changed their flight path to ram themselves into a screaming, fast-approaching and very scary metal bird. It raises the question though why a shortrange bird radar didn’t pick up the flock …


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