After a Safe Landing, Some Questions
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?