Virgin 747 birdstrike

From:         jason@svcdudes.com (Jason Proctor)
Date:         19 Dec 95 02:03:08 
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Hi all,

I was (un)lucky enough to be on board a Virgin 747-200 that lost an engine
due to a bird strike a while ago (August 2). About a minute after takeoff,
in the clouds above SFO, there was a big bump followed shortly by fuel
venting from what I assume to be a jettison port at the end of the wing.
People further forward than me reported seeing a jet of flame being
produced by engine #1 (starboard side inner, I think...). Glad I didn't see
that...

Anyway I have a couple of questions regarding the incident and hope all you
airliner experts can help me out here. I read s.a.a primarily to assuage my
fear of flying and you've done me no end of good.

1. I thought engines were supposed to survive bird strikes? I read here
about the GE90 failing its strike test because it vibrated too much
afterwards or something. Presumably RB-211s aren't just allowed to
explode....?

2. Will there be an investigation into the incident and the results made
public? Talking with other passengers it was clear that several disputed
the bird strike story.

3. Further to the discussion on 747s flying on 3 engines, I can report that
despite losing one at what I assume to be a fairly critical time, and being
fully loaded, ours did just fine. In fact until I saw the fuel venting I
thought the bump was just one of those bangs and scrapes that happen
naturally during takeoff....

Thanks in advance.

J