Things With Wings

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  • It's Official--Canada Geese Hit Flight 1549
    Posted by Frances Fiorino 10:08 PM on Feb 12, 2009

    The Smithsonian Institution’s Feather Identification Laboratory has identified DNA matter found in both CFM56-5B/P engines of US Airways Flight 1549 as belonging to the Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis), which generally weigh 5.8 to 8.7 lb.—larger than the bird ingestion standard for the engine. 

    The NTSB provided this in a Feb. 12 update on its probe of the Jan. 15 water landing of the Airbus A320 into the New York’s Hudson River.The safety board notes the bird ingestion standard in effect for the engine at the time of its 1996 certification included the following requirement: “The engine must withstand the ingestion of a four-pound bird without catching fire, without releasing hazardous fragments through the engine case, and without generating loads high enough to potentially compromise aircraft structural components or without losing the capability of being shut down.” The standard did not require that the engine be able to continue operating after ingesting a bird four pounds or larger.

    According to the NTSB, it is not known how many birds struck Flight 1549 or were ingested in its engines. Additional DNA analyses will be conducted to determine if the geese were resident or migratory, says the NTSB.  

    Tags: tw99, CanadaGeese, Flight1549, Smithsonian, NTSB

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