Too Many Wings?

A surprising message in the news has caught my attention today. Plane had to land because of bird strike.

Now: Bird strike? That’s when birds fly into a plane, right? – Oh, wait! No, it’s the other way around. A plane flies into a bird swarm. Of course! Why in all the world would birds hit a plane?

And that moment, I’m afraid, my twisted brain played jokes on me, and I started to laugh.

‘Why would birds hit a plane?’

On a dare?

Imagine the following scene:
• “Hey there… want to join us?”
• “Yeah, okay.”
• “Cool… see that Airbus over there?”
• “Uhm… yes?”
• “Once through the turbine and you’re in.”


Picture courtesy of


Or what about suicide birds? Of course, it made me laugh too; but after all, we don’t know what birds are thinking.
“I don’t want to live anymore… I hate it to be a bird… I suffer from vertigo!”


Picture courtesy of


I had to learn that indeed bird strike is a sincere problem and can in fact damage an airplane.
Seriously, I have been naïve about it. I just thought: “Hey… that’s an airplane, what can a bird do there? Scratch the windshield?”
I was told: “What do you think happens, if up there, 30,000 feet above the ground that little scratch through pressure and speed causes the windshield to break and fly off?”
I thought: “What? – Hmmm. What would happen, if the windshield of a plane actually does fly off?”
And to be honest, my joking brain, of course, thought about the pilot’s announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, here’s your captain speaking with some amazing news: We are now flying a convertible.”
My-oh-my… I know I’m bad.



But honestly: I wish someone could explain to me what bird strike does to an airplane – in particular, a big airplane. I’m almost sure we aren’t talking about a flock of sparrows. How big do the birds have to be to become a danger to an airplane? How many birds would be in a swarm in such a case? If someone knows about it, please, let me know. Thank you.


2 thoughts on “Too Many Wings?

  1. I’ve heard birds get sucked into the engines. Who knows why they don’t keep away. Maybe they just aren’t smart enough, or can’t see or hear well enough. They can’t help it. I’ve heard of geese or seagulls bringing planes down but not lately. Engines are more bird-proof than they used to be. Interesting questions.

    This morning a tiny bird flew into my house. I flew to one of the windows and flapped around trying to get out. Then my cat jumped up and caught it. I told her to drop it and it fell to the ground and lay on it’s back. It was alive. I took a paper towel and scooped it up, then it flew out the door and away. I hope it doesn’t come back. My cat would love to play some more.


  2. Hi Aurora, Just to prove I read your posts…according to Google if a bird weighing 5 kilograms hits a plane travelling at 275 miles per hour, the impact is fatal for the bird and if it hits the windshield/canopy, it can split and cause air pressure to drop inside plane. If it, or a flock of birds hits a turbine, it can affect the engine and cause the plane to crash. The infamous Hudson River crash was caused by a flock of birds at low altitude. Fewer, while some, collisions happen at a higher altitude as most birds fly lower. Hasta luego! x


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