PDA

View Full Version : Pelican shreds F-111's nose


Carsten Bauer
19th April 2008, 09:33 AM
Seriously, what was a pelican doing up at 2700ft???


http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/04/19/2221547.htm

An RAAF F-111 jet fighter was forced to make an emergency landing at the Amberley Air Base west of Brisbane after its nose was shredded in a mid-air collision with a pelican.

The F-111 was on a test bombing raid at about 900 metres altitude over Evans Head in northern New South Wales when the pelican reportedly hit the plane's nose and was sucked into one of its two engines.

Pictures show the aircraft's nosecone shredded by the impact, with bundles of fibreglass fibres hanging loose.

Airservices Australia, the Government-owned corporation which handles air traffic control, says the incident happened on April 11.

The jet flew back to Amberley where the two crew managed to land it without incident.

Mick F
19th April 2008, 11:22 AM
2,700ft isn't very high. Pelicans can be anywhere up to 10,000ft, probably even more.

I've heard of a bird strike at FL140 before, so 2,700ft is nothing!

Floody

Rod Sloan
19th April 2008, 11:24 AM
Seriously, what was a pelican doing up at 2700ft???



Admiring the view ?

Bob C
19th April 2008, 11:38 AM
Could have been a lot worse and not really funny guys as the RAAF lost F111C, A8-133, at Evans Head on 29 September 1977 with two fatalities.

Whilst on a low level, high speed bombing run a large bird flew through the windscreen of A8-133. Although the crew escape module separed from the aircraft, it was outside the survival "envelope" and the crew was killed.

An F4E, 69-7203, was also lost at Evans Head on 16 June 1971. Although the cause was not confirmed, a birdstrike at low level may have been a factor.

NickN
19th April 2008, 06:50 PM
Thats nothing.... check this out....

http://forums.jetphotos.net/showthread.php?t=43038

Wild Geese his a Beechcraft Premier at 6,000 metres!!!!

Dunno what that is in feet but it'd be around 18,000ft.

Makes you wonder.....

Carsten Bauer
19th April 2008, 10:05 PM
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23563691-2,00.html

With photos of the damaged nosedome.

NickN
20th April 2008, 08:27 AM
On a brighter note, residents living underneath the incident area were unexpectantly inundated with fried drumsticks, thighs and breast fillets.

There is always a positive to be found in these unfortunate events.

Brenden S
20th April 2008, 12:53 PM
Smashed that radome like there is no tomorrow!

Brian Wilkes
20th April 2008, 03:39 PM
Big mothers ain't there:D
27,000ft is there max crusing hight for them.
Cant under stand how the pilot of the jet didnt see the Pelicans contrails!:rolleyes:

NickN
20th April 2008, 04:31 PM
It would be hard for them to breathe at 27,000ft wouldn't it?

Nigel C
20th April 2008, 07:04 PM
If they're soaring at 27000' then they'd hardly be using much oxygen up.

If they were a hummingbird on the other hand...


However having said all that, Australian Pelicans, which are the largest of the worlds 8 pelican species, have only been recorded to around 3000m.

NickN
20th April 2008, 07:06 PM
Is the air thick enough at 27,000ft to soar? Or would they have the flap their wings quite a bit to keep from stalling?

Nigel C
20th April 2008, 07:15 PM
If a bird soars, they generally don't need to flap their wings...

Gliders have been to over 30000' in Australia, with the record currently held by Rick Agnew who flew from Bunyan (near Cooma) to all over the Snowy Mountains using mountain waves to gain altitude. Ain't no flapping of any wings there!

From the Gliding Federation Australia website www.gfa.org.au
Absolute altitude R.Q. Agnew 26/8/95 Std Jantar 10058 m

NickN
20th April 2008, 08:43 PM
Wasn't contesting what you said Nigel was just curious about how they would manage it. I had no idea that it was possible to take a glider that high.

Nigel C
20th April 2008, 09:19 PM
I wasn't suggesting that you were contesting anything I said either.

You'll find that the relative ground speed needed to soar at altitude is higher than what's required at low levels.

Nigel C
21st April 2008, 07:42 PM
From www.news.com.au

Bird strike fears 'unfounded', airlines not at risk

By Melanie Christiansen April 21, 2008 12:00am

Bird-shredded F-111 AIRLINE passengers should not be unduly alarmed about mid-air bird strikes, despite the devastating impact of a pelican on a defence force F-111, experts say.
Classified photos published in Brisbane's The Courier-Mail showed the jet, with its "shredded" fibreglass nose, after an emergency landing at the Amberley RAAF Base.

The F-111 was flying at 900m on a test bombing raid over Evans Head, in northern NSW, when the pelican struck the fibreglass nose and smashed the radome before being sucked into an engine.

Repairs to the fighter are expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But despite the extensive damage and an admission from a Defence spokesman that the RAAF has suffered "a few" such serious incidents in its history Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson yesterday played down the risks for commercial airlines.

Mr Gibson said a single bird strike would not cause as much damage for a commercial plane as it did in the case of the F-111 bomber struck over northern NSW.

"I've never heard of anything as dramatic as that, so there may be unique features about that aircraft that caused that or, I don't know, maybe it was a really fat pelican," he said.

In the case of a commercial jet, Mr Gibson said the most common problem was a bird being sucked into an engine and damaging the blades or a windscreen cracking.

That would not jeopardise the aircraft's ability to land safely, although it could be costly to airlines, he said.

Figures from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau show there were 610 bird strikes around Australia's 10 major airports last year with Cairns the most dangerous airport for bird strikes.

It recorded 105 incidents within a 5km radius, compared to 100 bird strikes around Sydney airport and 80 around the Brisbane airport, which is next to the Boondall wetlands, an important feeding ground which attracts migratory birds.

To reduce the risk of bird strikes, Brisbane Airport Corporation funded a Queensland University of Technology study into what grasses and what length of grass are least likely to attract birds.

The airport also chooses trees to plant which do not produce the type of flowers and seeds sought by birds.



Although they've quoted a number birdstrikes, they haven't said if they're confirmed or unconfirmed strikes. This can alter the stats dramatically.

Also, the real measure of birdstrike rates should be measured in strikes per 10000 movements, and not 'recorded incidents'. Using this analysis, I believe Sydney actually comes out close to having the lowest strike rate for any of the major airports.

Nigel

Clarke P
21st April 2008, 08:01 PM
Am I the only one thinking that the RAAF's aircraft should be a little more.. tolerant?

I thought these aircraft were designed to be used in combats, dangerous tasks, etc.. yet they're out there getting damaged by birds?:eek:

Nigel C
21st April 2008, 08:07 PM
We'll see how your nose goes after hitting something at 550km/h, shall we?:p

:D

NickN
21st April 2008, 09:14 PM
What are the major forms of bird control measures at major airports?

I was told once that they used bird handlers with falcons/kites to chase away the nuisance birds.... is that true? Sounds sort of storylike to me.

D Chan
21st April 2008, 09:27 PM
What are the major forms of bird control measures at major airports?

I was told once that they used bird handlers with falcons/kites to chase away the nuisance birds.... is that true? Sounds sort of storylike to me.

yes that's true and it is not just a story :D

other bird (wildlife) control methods include live firing and firing of shell crackers, playing sounds (noise) to simulate the calls by distressed bird.

It is also important to manage the environment surrounding the airport. As you might be aware SACL placed netting over ponds to prevent birds getting in etc. Other aspects include monitoring grass levels (length of grass), clearing food and water sources and minimise nesting areas etc.

For those interested have a read here:
http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/2003/pdf/Hazard_aircraft_by_birds.pdf pg 11-12 details control methods, while more interestingly page 28 outlines the impact forces of different bird sizes and different speeds!

Grant Smith
21st April 2008, 09:59 PM
What are the major forms of bird control measures at major airports?

I was told once that they used bird handlers with falcons/kites to chase away the nuisance birds.... is that true? Sounds sort of storylike to me.

Nige,

This question is riiiiiiiight up your alley!


:cool:

Nick W.
21st April 2008, 10:03 PM
I once went for a drive around an australian airport with an ASO (airport safety officer). I hopped in the ute, and there was a shotgun on my seat with the blank cartridges, intended to scare birds away (I have limited experience with rifles, so I'm not too savvy on firearms!) and was told to 'hold it when we turn'.

There's another method for you ;)

Nigel C
22nd April 2008, 05:36 AM
What are the major forms of bird control measures at major airports?

I was told once that they used bird handlers with falcons/kites to chase away the nuisance birds.... is that true? Sounds sort of storylike to me.

yes that's true and it is not just a story :D

Not true at all. Falconry is illegal in Australia and has been since 1975.

It was experimented with back in the early 70's at Sydney with special approval, however falconry didn't prove overly effective as many of the 'high risk' birdstrike species located here don't see falcons as a direct threat. i.e. Seagulls.

There are, however, a pair of Peregrine Falcons using the airport as part of their natural territory at the moment. They've been here periodically for around a year now and are doing a fine job on the local pigeon and lorikeet population.:cool:
They'll only keep hanging around if the food supply is plentiful and if human interference is minimal.
If you do see them in the area, keep an eye on them. Seeing a bird diving at speeds of up to 300km/h is quite a sight!:cool:

damien b
22nd April 2008, 06:42 AM
Am I the only one thinking that the RAAF's aircraft should be a little more.. tolerant?

I thought these aircraft were designed to be used in combats, dangerous tasks, etc.. yet they're out there getting damaged by birds?:eek:

A large bird at 550 km/hr may as well be a anti aircraft shell.

Coming from a RAAF C-130 back ground, bird strikes were common and did cause some major damage at times. I recall helping rewire some 50 odd wires in the leading edge on one aircraft after a eagle tried to attack the aircraft and lost.

Bat strikes were also common during night low level sorties.

Fast military aircraft (F-111, F-16, F/A-18 etc) have a semi flexible windscreen that is meant to deflect a bird as it impacts the cockpit windows, you may find a video of testing on youtube.

A Belgian C-130 crashed in 1995 after substaining mulitple bird strikes on approach after flying through what on memory was a flock of starlings. Everyone on board died.

Bob C
22nd April 2008, 08:41 PM
Clarke P, I think that is a pretty naive comment and as "damien b" says, a bird colliding with an aircraft at 550km/hr may as well be an anti aircraft shell.

And Morons throwing rocks through car windscreens can have a similar effect !!

Sydney Airport can be a dangerous place for birdstrikes as I was travelling on an aircraft that hit some birds soon after take off.

On 10 December 1988, my wife, baby daughter and I were returning to Perth from Sydney on Australian Airlines, A300, VH-TAD.

We were sitting in Row 1, courtesy of "Which Bank" and shortly after take off there was a loud bang and my wife who had the window seat, saw flames shooting out from the engine. A few minutes later the Captain advised that we had flown through a flock of birds and would have to return to Sydney after first dumping fuel to get down to landing weight.

After about 20 minutes or so circling over the Blue Mountains and dumping fuel, we returned to Sydney and although the words "emergency landing" were never mentioned, the runway was lined with fire engines and other emergency vehicles.

We returned to the terminal and luckily for us another A300, VH-TAE, which had been closed up for the day was in the next bay. After about 90 minutes or so our luggage was transferred and we boarded -TAE for an uneventful flight to Perth.

D Chan
22nd April 2008, 08:53 PM
Not true at all. Falconry is illegal in Australia and has been since 1975.

They are used in other parts of the world - I wasn't referring to Sydney specifically as NickN did not make specific mention of where / which airport.
I did see it in a video (made in the United States) which talked about forms of bird control and mentioned this method.

Nigel C
22nd April 2008, 09:04 PM
The fact that you mentioned methods used by SACL and then later referenced the ATSB site could easily be seen (as it was by me) as you inferring to methods used in Australia.

Furthermore, this is the Sydney Airport Message Board, and the topic at hand is located within the Australia and New Zealand Industry forum. I think my assumption was justified.:p

Cheers
Nigel

Nigel C
22nd April 2008, 09:15 PM
Sydney Airport can be a dangerous place for birdstrikes...

You could say the same about nearly any airport given the right (or wrong) conditions!:eek:

NickN
23rd April 2008, 04:05 PM
Ok so now that I know falconry etc is illegal, what other measures to SACL use to deter birds from the area? I would assume that most major airports in Australia being located in "coastal" cities, many of them on or in close proximity to the water would want to keep the seagulls and pelicans etc as far away from aircraft as possible?

Nigel C
23rd April 2008, 07:47 PM
>Birdfrite and other pyrotechnics (Armidale NSW uses up to 3" mortars, the same that you'd see at a fireworks display!)
>Live rounds
>Vehicle approach
>Human approach
>Sirens
>Horns
>Gas Cannons
>Grass heights
>Tree and plant species
>Endophytic grasses soon to be trialed I believe
>Habitat modification both on and around the airport
>Removal of water ponding areas and
>Reducing food supply just to name a few...

It would be fair to say the same applies for nearly all major airports.

I should point out that of the various "direct" methods used (say, the first 7), the birds can get used to them and become comfortable, so variety is the key. For other birds, a combination of a few methods are required.


You have to remember, that to keep birds away you have to understand what makes them tick, what makes them attracted to an airport. You have to understand their behaviour during various weather patterns, and what seasons bring what risks.

Sydney Airport and its surrounds are home to many migratory species that arrive at quite specific times of the year, so understanding what species turn up when, and what the attraction of the airport is to them, is vitally important to understanding how to effectively manage and reduce the risk associated with them.


Over 100 bird species have been identified at Sydney Airport and its immediate surrounds...that equates to around 1 in 7 of all the bird species found in Australia! So as you can see, it's quite a complex scenario!

Cheers
Nigel

NickN
23rd April 2008, 08:10 PM
Sheesh I didn't know it was that complex. I suppose having Botany Bay and also the ponds just accross the road dont help!

Nigel C
23rd April 2008, 08:28 PM
That's the funny thing...most people just don't understand the complexities of airports. In fact I'd say most people who work at airports including pilots, engineers, ATC, even many levels airport/airline administration wouldn't understand or fully appreciate much of what goes on to make sure a high level of safety is maintained.

D Chan
24th April 2008, 08:10 PM
Sydney Airport and its surrounds are home to many migratory species that arrive at quite specific times of the year, so understanding what species turn up when, and what the attraction of the airport is to them, is vitally important to understanding how to effectively manage and reduce the risk associated with them.

there are plenty of seagulls at the tower beach and it's quite worrying to see them but I suppose not much anyone could do about it. I wonder if the rubbish on the tower beach lure them there. Either way here's a photo ;)

Adam P.
29th April 2008, 11:46 AM
Nigel, Nigel, Nigel...


You forgot the gas cannons!!!:D

David Ramsay
29th April 2008, 01:06 PM
Adam

You didn't read his list, it is there at number 7!! :rolleyes:

Gas cannons work exceptionally well on small birds :)

Nigel C
29th April 2008, 02:03 PM
Adam

You didn't read his list, it is there at number 7!! :rolleyes:

Yes Adam, you should have done a more thorough search!:p:p:p

Adam P.
29th April 2008, 06:14 PM
http://forums.flyer.co.uk/images/smiles/eusa_doh.gif Doh!