Monday, 30th October 2017

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Check after bird hit delays Venkaiah Naidu at Calcutta airport

An aircraft was hit by a bird while taking off from Calcutta airport on Friday morning

  • Published 17.08.19, 3:07 AM
  • Updated 17.08.19, 3:07 AM
  • a min read
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Calcutta airport File picture

An aircraft was hit by a bird while taking off from Calcutta airport on Friday morning.

Vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu, whose flight was to land in the city around the same time, had to hover in the sky as airport officials inspected the runway.

The bird-hit aircraft, however, continued its flight to Bangalore. “The pilot said the aircraft did not suffer any damage and so continued to fly to Bangalore,” an official said.

The pilot reported the bird strike around 9am. Airport personnel inspected the runway and found an injured kite. The bird died as it was about to be taken for treatment, airport officials said.

The aircraft carrying the vice-president, however, could not land immediately.

Airport officials said bird hits were common at Calcutta airport. “There are several unauthorised fish markets around the airport that attract birds,” an airport official said.

Fish vendors allegedly dump garbage outside the designated bins, thus attracting birds. “The matter has been raised at several meetings of the airport environment committee but the municipalities have not stopped these illegal markets from operating.”

A state government official said circulars were sent to the civic bodies a few weeks ago asking them to ensure that the garbage was cleaned twice a day. But the order was yet to be implemented by civic bodies other than the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, sources said.

The risk of bird strikes increases during the monsoon because of the abundance of insects, officials said.

Although the AirAsia aircraft was not damaged, bird hits can lead to serious safety hazards, pilots said.

A US Airways (now American Airlines) flight from New York’s LaGuardia airport was hit by a flock of birds three minutes after take-off and lost all engine power in January 2009. Pilot Chesley Sullenberger had glided the Airbus A320, into the Hudson river, with 155 people on board. Fortunately, no lives were lost.

The Tom Hanks-starrer Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (2016) was based on the incident.