A Northwest Airlines jet departing Detroit for Washington, D.C. this morning was forced to make an emergency return for landing after, well, let them explain it:
The airline says the birds came too close to the airport, causing safety concerns.
Were these radioactive birds the size of cargo planes capable of spearing a 747 with their giant talons? The explanation Northwest gave makes no sense. Jets fly faster than birds, so if these were big, mean, menacing birds that might carry off a grown human, a jet could easily outrun them. Humans tend to be smarter than birds, and birds tend to be scared by loud noises, so the flight crew could have simply waited on the ground until the birds departed the area, or airport ops could have taken action to scare them off.
Northwest is hiding something, and my wildly uninformed speculation, based on the above comment, is that they had a bird strike of some sort on the airplane itself, probably on a windshield, the wing, one of the stabilizers, or an engine (probably an engine). Bird strikes aren’t exactly rare, but they’re rarely dangerous — well, except to the bird! — so I’m puzzled as to why Northwest wouldn’t simply admit the bird strike, if that’s indeed what it was, and I’m even more puzzled as to why they’d give such an obviously B.S. explanation for it.
UPDATE: I’ve just been told by a friend that the above quote is part of Northwest’s standard press release for a bird ingestion in an engine, and WOOD is now confirming bird strike(s) to be the reason the Airbus A319 returned for landing.
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