After a Safe Landing, Some Questions

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Some questions and answers following the water landing of US Airways Flight 1549.

Q: How can a bird disable a jet engine?

A: A bird can strike and damage turbine and fan blades, blocking air flow and leading to a loss of power and potentially a fire if an engine overheats. Even a small bird can cause great damage when it hits an airplane taking off at high speed.

Q: Why don't jet engines have anti-bird screens?

A: Because a screen stout enough to deflect large birds such as geese would rob the engine of necessary air, according to experts. A screen also adds the risk of parts breaking off and being sucked into the engine.

Q: What steps are taken to avoid bird strikes?

A: Many airports use cannon blasts or other loud noises to scare off birds, and some even employ predators such as falcons.

Q: How well do airplanes float?

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