Dash 7

Story #1

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by Danny Fyne of PPRUNE which is definitely worth a visit!

Bird Encounter

I used to work for Arkia which is the internal airline of Israel and was there when the Dash 7 was introduced in the early 1980's.

Although not a pilot at the time I was maintenance coordinator for the company and I remember an incident when one of the a/c took off from the Sde-Dov Airport at Tel Aviv which is right next to the sea.

As the a/c took off a flock of seagulls which was roosting on the runway took flight as the a/c became airborne and over a hundred birds were killed.

The pilot declared an emergency and returned to the field for an emergency landing. I was on the ramp when the a/c taxied in and it was a real mess. the pilot had had to use his DV window for landing as the main windows were smeared with blood and feathers.

The leading edges of the wings were severely dented and the de-icing boots had been ripped to shreds and bits of bone and feather had punctured them. Every vent and hole facing into the direction of flight was stuffed with bits of seagull remains and the engine nacelles were severely blocked with bits of dead seagull.

Well over one hundred carcasses were found on and by the runway which probably means that the a/c hit nearly two hundred birds judging by the remains that were removed from the airframe!

Thanks to the strong construction of the airframe and the design of the PT6 engines with the reversal of the airflow through the nacelles the a/c was able to return to a safe landing whereas many other types would not have made it.

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