Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Are birds bothering pilots at Chennai airport?

Chennai: Instances of pilots complaining about suspected bird strikes near Chennai are going up. These are not actual bird hits but suspicions of strikes recorded after pilots spot birds as they take off or come into land.
Statistics show that suspected bird hits have shot up from 38 in 2015-16 to 58 in 2016-17. These figures are based on reports filed by pilots who suspected that a bird must have hit the aircraft. However, investigation found that there were no actual strikes.
Pilots report to the air traffic control and the ground crew when they spot birds. If the pilot reports a suspected hit, ground engineers inspect the wings, engines, fuselage and nose of the flight after landing to confirm damages while the airport staff inspect the runway. If a pilot reports a suspected hit while take-off but readings inside show nothing amiss, the aircraft continues towards its destination where it is checked upon landing. If readings show otherwise, the flight makes an immediate landing. Other pilots are also informed about the bird sighting, or hit, so that they can take precaution. Aircraft manufacturers have provided a long check list detailing what action should be taken following a strike.
"Bird strikes have not been reported but the number of suspected strikes are up. This is also not good but checks are done. All these instances have been reported outside the airport campus," a senior Airports Authority of India official said.
`10/10/17 V Ayyappan/Times of India

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