Bird strike

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Bird strike is an aviation term for a bird striking an airplane. If the plane is in mid-air it can result in a crash, mostly if the bird hits the engine, possibly causing engine failure. Aircraft collision with animals such as birds is estimated to cost $600 million annually in the United States alone. [1]


  • Miracle on the Hudson
  • On August 10, 1995, an Israeli two-seat F-15 Eagle suffered a massive birdstrike and crashed, killing both the pilot and navigator.[1]
  • In October 1980 during the Iran-Iraq War, an Iranian F-4 Phantom had just evaded an Iraqi SAM when it suffered a bird strike to the engines and cockpit. The pilot was injured and knocked unconscious, but the radar intercept officer in the backseat was able to pilot the plane back to base. The plane was eventually repaired, but the engines had been so badly damaged that both had to be replaced.[2]


  1. Israeli F-15 Eagle Units in Combat, by Schlomo Aloni, Osprey Publishing, 2006
  2. Iranian F-4 Phantom II Units in Combat, by Farzad Bishop and Tom Cooper, Osprey Publishing, 2003