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Birds prove a constant obstacle for pilots in Vietnam

Friday, April 23, 2021, 18:40 GMT+7
Birds prove a constant obstacle for pilots in Vietnam
An aircraft wheel is repaired in this illustration. Photo: Tuan Phung / Tuoi Tre

A broken brake hose on a Vietnam Airlines plane is the latest causality in a series of incidents involving collisions between birds and aircraft in Vietnam. 

Mechanics found that the brake hose of Vietnam Airlines’ A321 plane was damaged as it landed in north-central Thanh Hoa Province at 11:11 am on Wednesday morning, following its departiure from Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

They also found a bird’s body stuck to the rear of the plane.

The incident caused a delay of nearly four hours for the return flight from Thanh Hoa to Da Lat since Vietnam Airlines scrambled to find a substitute plane.

Collisions between birds and airplanes are not uncommon in Vietnam.

On April 11, blood stains and bird feathers were found on the body of an A350 aircraft operated by China Airlines after it landed in Ho Chi Minh City from Taipei. 

The incident left the aircraft with a 30-centimeter dent, forcing it to remain grounded at Tan Son Nhat International Airport as a crew carried out repairs.

On April 7, Vietnam Airlines recorded two bird strikes on two of its A321 aircraft after they had taken off from Phu Quoc Island and Hai Phong City and landed at Tan Son Nhat.

The management of Tan Son Nhat’s flight zone examined runways and taxiways after the two incidents were reported but detected no abnormalities.

On March 31, a Bamboo Airways plane bound for Con Dao, off the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau, from Hai Phong City had to make an emergency landing in Hanoi after hitting a bird. 

Mechanics called to the scene found a dent and traces of blood on the plane’s engine No. 1.

Earlier, a Vietnam Airlines flight from Da Nang City to the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho hit a bird on the runway at Da Nang International Airport at 10:59 am on March 24.

The Da Nang flight zone operation center later detected a swallow’s body on the 35R/17L runway and removed it in order to ensure flight safety. 

The flight then continued normal operations.

According to experts, bird strikes are common in the aviation industry, with the majority of them causing little damage to the aircraft.

In theory, large aircraft can continue flying after colliding with a bird weighing two kilograms or less.

In some cases, the bird is sucked into the engine, causing considerable damage.

The difference in speed between a bird and plane makes the impact of their collision very strong, jeopardizing the aircraft.

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