That led to a discussion about the damage done to the machinery from such contact with flesh-and-bone. Thankfully, man-meets-engine is much rarer than bird-strikes; not least because birds are too dopey (and illiterate) to read the SOP. That means engineers don't really have to design turbo-fan blades to cope with human contact but do so need to take account of bird strike. I explained this to the youngsters [rapt because the story was potentially gruesome] by saying that engine-engineers will order a bunch of chickens; fire up the engine in their test wind-tunnel then lob birds into the intake and assess the damage. Everything went well, I said, until someone failed to follow the SOP [defrost the chickens before throwing them at the engine] with catastrophic results for the fan-blades. There was a moment of palpable confusion as they realised that the unfrozen birds were dead. Whoa lads, I added, they're engineers not a class of unhinged sadists; how do you think they'd get ethical approval for using live chickens in a destructive testing assay? Which served as a seamless side-step into Ethics in STEM which would be unlikely covered at school.
- Birdstrike Aer Lingus 115 a Boeing 757 requires go-round and return to base and six emergency vehicle scrambled.
- Ryanair 737 whangs 20 seagulls
- Tom Hanks takes it handy after bird-strike - the Right Stuff. Spoiler: everyone survives.
- Bird's eye view - almost
- Nor only birds - hares also have a death-wish at Dublin Airport
- Some stats from Bright Side