Friday 16 January 2009

Bird strikes and an anniversary

It seems that a bird strike brought down the US Airways passenger jet which the pilot managed to land with such skill on the Hudson river in New York City yesterday. Mercifully no one was killed. America’s Federal Aviation Administration says it received nearly 76,000 reports of bird strikes between 1990 and 2007, and the incidents resulted in a total of 11 deaths. Last November, a Ryanair 737 had to make an emergency landing at one of Rome’s airports after birds had been sucked into one of the engines. There were only minor injuries.

The worst accident involving a bird strike came in 1960 when an Eastern Airlines flight hit a flock of starlings just after take-off from Boston in the United States damaging all four engines. It crashed into the sea killing 62 people out of 71 on board.

On this day......647 years ago. On January 16, 1362, the Grote Mandrenke or “great drowning of men” carried off at least 25,000 people, as a massive Atlantic gale caused floods in England, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

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