What happens if a bird flies into a plane engine?
The event is called a bird strike.
Each year, bird strikes cost US airlines an estimated $1.2 billion. Only part of those costs are from actual damage. The rest comes from flight delays and cancellations.
A bird strike can disable a plane’s engine. But engines are designed to withstand at least one bird. Plus, pilots can still fly a plane with just one operating engine.
As a result, the chances of an accident are slim. Between 1990-2015 there were 160,894 bird strikes on US aircraft. Only .025% (40) of those strikes resulted in an accident.
Despite the low risk, a bird strike can be a shocking experience. Here are some helpful tips to combat the element of surprise.
Expect more bird strikes from July to October. That’s when over half of them occur each year. Most bird strikes happen during takeoff or landing. They’re also more likely to occur during the day than any other time.