Caribbean Airlines Bird Strike
Caribbean Airlines that has had an unblemished safety record so far had a close call this morning out of the CJIA at Timehri in Guyana. The Caribbean Airlines flight that had just taken off was forced to return to the airport after an object hit and damaged the blades in one of the jet engines. Flight BW 662 was headed to Port of Spain Trinidad with onward connections to Fort Lauderdale and Toronto.
The passengers were asked to disembark and the flight was grounded for several hours while technicians and engineers assessed and attended to the damaged aircraft.
The Head of Corporate Communications for Caribbean Airlines confirmed that the aircraft was definitely affected by a bird strike. She said that the aircraft returned safely to the tarmac within fifteen minutes of take off. The CAL spokesperson said that the spares had sent over to Guyana, and the Maintenance and Engineering Department is working on the aircraft in Guyana. According to the Head of Corporate Communications the passengers were accommodated on other aircraft.
Guyana’s Minister of Transport Robeson Benn and the Airport Manager Ramesh Ghir were on the tarmac observing the work of the technicians and engineers.
A bird strike is when a bird is sucked into the jet engine upon take off or landing when that happens depending upon the damage inflicted the engine could shut down creating an emergency situation.
The spectacular landing of a US Passenger Jet on the Hudson River in New York highlighted the severity of a Bird Strike on an aircraft two years ago. That flight that came to be known as the Miracle on the Hudson resulted in the survival of all passengers and crew through the handling of the aircraft by an experienced pilot Capt “Sully” Sullenburger.
However in Guyana particularly around the Easter Season, there is another challenge, Kites. The municipal airport, Ogle outside Georgetown posted notices that the flying of Kites near the airport is strictly prohibited. About two weeks ago a light aircraft reported an encounter with a kite that resulted in the aircraft undergoing repairs for damage.