WATCH: Mango plane's engine damaged in bird strike at OR Tambo

2017-11-19 18:15 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - A Mango flight has had to turn-around after one of the plane’s engines was damaged just after take-off from Joburg's OR Tambo in an apparent bird strike. 

Wheels24 editor Sergio Davids who was travelling on board the flight shared pics of the incident, which saw Mango flight JE 147 returning to OR Tambo airport on Sunday afternoon, 19 November.

According to Davids, who was returning to Cape Town when the incident happened about 15 minutes after take-off at about 14:00.

"I could hear the impact, followed by the horrid smell of smoke in the cabin."

The co-pilot then came out and checked the engine and ran back to the cockpit, Davids told Traveller24

“He just went wide-eyed.”

SEE: WATCH: Bird corpse left dangling from plane after strike

"Shortly thereafter the pilot announced, 'Ladies and gentlemen, we've suffered a bird strike. Please remain calm. We cannot continue on our way to Cape Town and have to turn around. The engine suffered damage but we will be fine to make it back.'"

Passengers have since been accommodated on alternative SAA flights as well as private chartered planes.

Davids says the passengers were in good spirits throughout, joking about the incident and the need "to send a squad of hawks out ahead of the next flight". 

Bird and wildlife management control

Bird trikes pose a serious safety risk to the overall aviation industry, as the impact can be as hazardous as hitting a bullet, causing major damage to the aircraft. Over the past few years Acsa has looked to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as an integral part of its management of the airfield risk. 

Bird and wildlife management control officers use handheld mobile computers with integrated global positioning systems to record information and track their patrols out on the airfield.  

Wildlife Control Officers (WCOs) at OR Tambo International Airports are able to log their routes, make recordings of birds, other wildlife and any problems noted during their patrols – enabling them to produce reports more effectively and share key learnings as well as map out potential bird and wildlife attractants such as standing water, grass that requires cutting, or any other hazard.  The system is instrumental in enabling ongoing improvements in the management of birds and wildlife.  

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