Re: Virgin 747 birdstrike

From:         Ian Judge <>
Organization: Home
Date:         20 Dec 95 15:52:02 
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Jason Proctor ( wrote:
: 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...

#1 = port side outer
#3 = starboard side inner

: 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....?

It may have been a birdstrike that caused damage, they have in the past
or there could be some other reason for it.
I inspected an L1011 engine (RB211-22B) that diverted into Orlando after
the vibration levels went beyond limits. There was no visible external damage
but the HP section of the turbine had lost almost two complete stages.
There was no jet of flame or other symptoms reported. None of the
passengers knew anything about it until the captain announced his decision
to divert.

: 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.

An inflight shutdown requires the pilot to file an air safety report and
this has to be sent to the UK Civil Aviation Authority. The extent and type
of damage the engine sustained will be discovered on engine overhaul

: 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....

Hope thie reassures you. Previously if you'd thought about this scenario it
would have stoked your fears. Now you can just take it in your step.
( By the way two engine shutdowns can be coped with )


  Ian Judge                                        _|_                      _____(_)_____
                                                 !  !  !