Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bird vs Jetliner - a confusing law of physics

Sometimes the law of nature is confusing…. And the law of physics are mind boggling….

Consider this..

A bird weighs less than a kilogram….

An average car weighs about 3,000 kilograms…

What will happen if a small bird crash head on to your car – Nothing happened right??

The bird will surely die and you keep on driving.

Ok now, a bird weighs less than a kilogram….

But the average weight of a jetliner, an Airbus A320 in this case is 70 tonnes or 140,000 pounds or 63,636 kilograms…!!!

What happen if a 1 kg bird and a 70 tonnes Airbus A320 collide head on??

Of course the bird will die… and surprisingly, the Airbus will be crippled, loose power and going down and down… and it is obviously ery dangerous for the passengers safety…

This kind of incidents are called "bird and wildlife strikes" and have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to civil and military aviation including in the U.S over the years, as well as loss of life.

Todd Curtis, founder of and an expert in aviation service said "The risk is real. Birds are a threat every day, but only on rare occasion do you have them causing a crash."

He explains that an Airbus A320, the type of plane involved in the Hudson river crash, in New York, about 12 hours ago, has an engine designed to sustain damage from up to a 4-lb. bird.

"The real hazard is if you have simultaneous damage with a flock of birds. I don't know what happened in this case, but multiple engine failure due to bird strikes can bring an aircraft down," he says.

Today’s world headlines – apart from the daily Israel-Gaza war, are about a US airliner on a domestic flight with 155 people aboard that has ditched into the Hudson River in New York City but with no loss of life.

All 150 passengers, 3 flight attendants and 2 pilots were rescued in freezing weather, with a number later treated for unspecified injuries.

The US Airways Airbus A320 crashed just after taking off from LaGuardia Airport heading for Charlotte, North Carolina.

Officials believe the plane may have collided with a flock of geese. (They really give you a goosebump right??)

In this case, average weight of a full grown goose is 3 kg to 6 kg.

According to an air controllers union spokesman, a US Airways pilot reported a "double bird strike" less than a minute after take-off and asked to return to the ground, before ditching in the Hudson.

The spokesman, Doug Church, said the pilot apparently meant that birds had hit both of the plane's jet engines. It appears the birds involved were a flock of geese.

Putting aside the weird bird-aeroplane theory, the pilot of that plane who managed to save all 155 people aboard — became an instant hero.

The pilot of Flight 1549 was Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, 57, of Danville, California, a former fighter pilot who runs a safety consulting firm in addition to flying commercial aircraft.

Sullenberger, who has flown for US Airways since 1980, flew F-4 fighter jets with the Air Force in the 1970s.

Sullenberger had been studying the psychology of keeping airline crews functioning even in the face of crisis, said Robert Bea, a civil engineer who co-founded UC Berkeley's Center for Catastrophic Risk Management.

Bea said he could think of few pilots as well-situated to bring the plane down safely than Sullenberger.

"When a plane is getting ready to crash with a lot of people who trust you, it is a test.. Sulley proved the end of the road for that test. He had studied it, he had rehearsed it, he had taken it to his heart."

Sullenberger is president of Safety Reliability Methods, a California firm that uses "the ultra-safe world of commercial aviation" as a basis for safety consulting in other fields.


Annoymous said...

Ah, for a bird compared to a 100 million dollar machine. Sigh that's such a huge disparity

Malaysian Hollywood 2.0 said...

You are right there, harmony....
it's confusing right???
but what if a guy accidentally bump into a girl??? it's ok.

and what if a girl purposely bump into a guy??? it's still ok...

but what if a guy purposely bump into another guy???? GAY???

Annoymous said...

Yeap it's confused all right, we just have to see what the majority thinks

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