By John Ensor • 15 August 2023 • 20:07
Stock image of Finnair aircraft.
Two Finnair flights were forced to return to Helsinki Airport following collisions with birds just hours apart on the same day.
On the evening of Sunday, August 13, two incidents occurred at Helsinki Airport, forcing the interruption of Finnair flights. The first mishap took place at 6:30 pm, affecting a flight bound for Warsaw, and was followed by a delay of another plane, just two hours later, heading to Paris, writes BNN.
Both incidents involved flocks of small birds, creating an unusual yet serious disruption. The consequences of these events required the replacement of the wing’s turbine on the Warsaw-directed plane, which was struck during the collision.
However, Jari Paajanen, a spokesperson for Finnair’s operations control, stated that this was a precautionary step and part of their standard operational procedure. ‘We always acknowledge and perform routine checks after any bird strike, irrespective of the size of the bird or the extent of the affected aircraft part.’
These additional precautions and inspections led to an unexpected overnight stay in Helsinki for passengers, with departures to their respective destinations postponed until the following morning. Finnair recognised the inconvenience and agreed to pay for the accommodation and meals for all passengers affected by the unforeseen delay.
A collision with a small bird may appear trivial and virtually harmless. Yet, Paajanen noted that in the most severe case, a larger bird could cause a temporary engine stall, emphasising that it does not threaten the aircraft’s functionality. ‘Airplanes are equipped with multiple engines and hence are prepared for such collisions,’ he clarified.
Despite these assurances, it is evident that bird strikes pose a genuine concern in aviation. Strategies to minimise their occurrences, such as disturbances to keep birds away from airports, are already implemented. If a bird does approach too closely, it is diligently chased away.
The Finnair incidents highlight the ongoing challenge of maintaining a harmonious relationship between aviation infrastructure and the natural environment. As technological advancements continue, the urgent need to create and apply more refined, sophisticated methods to address these problems grows ever more critical.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
When he's not writing for EWN he enjoys gigging in a acoustic duo, looking after their four dogs, four chickens, two cats, and cycling up mountains very slowly.
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