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:
Bird strike severo en un vuelo de @Ryanair
Salen fotos en hilo.
Con lo que se ve en la pick up, el kumpa argentino se pondría un puestito de parripollo pic.twitter.com/RsC8fGnPjs
— Vuelos y Viajes (@flyezequiel) November 27, 2021
At the moment of writing, the aircraft is still grounded at Bologna Airport.
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 …
David: There is no “shortrange bird radar”.
Aircraft radar is designed to detect precip only.
Well now there’s an opportunity for someone Richard …. ground-based X-band radar can ‘see’ a cloud of biological material in the sky such as birds or insects. As you well know, bird-strikes are nearly always expensive, and can be catastrophic, so the motivation to have a dual-band radar – at least during the initial climb and late descent phases of a flight – is clearly there.