A bird strike is an event that many pilots fear. But how is it possible that something so common and simple can be such a devastating event?
Bird strikes are more common than you might think, and are usually at their highest risk during take-off, followed by landing. In 2016, there were a staggering 1,835 confirmed bird strikes in the UK alone! During mid-flight, the risk is substantially lower due to the cruising altitude exceeding that of birds.
However, only about 5% of all bird strikes result in catastrophic engine failure... On a side note, this also results in 100% total bird failure!
Aeroplane jet engines are precision engineered to be as efficient and smooth as possible. After a bird strike, or more professionally, jet engine ingestion, any foreign subject can cause devastating damage to the fan blades. Then, as a result of it being unbalanced, combined with 25,000rpm of thrust required to get such a heavy payload up into the air, the engine just simply disintegrates!
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Kteevids, on the Bird Strike Engine Test.