TACA flight 110- fascinating video for a Sunday morning

I remember a discussion of jet engine materials in a lower division materials science class. I thought the prof said that they tossed a frozen chicken or turkey in testing. I was thinking an engine was supposed to be able to withstand that, but he might have said it was to see if the aftermath can be contained, even if the engine fails. And he might not have said frozen either. This is one of those things where I’m sure I’ve changed parts of the story.
They fire frozen birds into the engine using a “chicken gun” that uses compressed air. Not sure if it’s KFC or where they get them🤔


 
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They fire frozen birds into the engine using a “chicken gun” that uses compressed air. Not sure if it’s KFC or where they get them🤔



There's a Wikipedia article on the "chicken gun".

That being said, I really don't think a jet engine could handle a frozen bird. It would be like shooting a cannonball. That would clearly destroy a jet engine. But a refrigerated chicken might be more realistic in simulating a bird strike. There are some claims that DoD testing has included frozen chickens on the premise that they'll be an even tougher test, although I don't think it represents a realistic threat.
 
There's a Wikipedia article on the "chicken gun".

That being said, I really don't think a jet engine could handle a frozen bird. It would be like shooting a cannonball. That would clearly destroy a jet engine. But a refrigerated chicken might be more realistic in simulating a bird strike. There are some claims that DoD testing has included frozen chickens on the premise that they'll be an even tougher test, although I don't think it represents a realistic threat.
I think you’re correct, maybe they aren’t frozen.

The unfrozen birds that hit Sully’s engines destroyed them but there were more than one.

Remember, the engines have to pass the hail ingestion test and GE says they put 1 ton of manufactured hail into the engine and it didn’t destroy it. Not sure how big the hail was but you can get very large hail.
 
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I think you’re correct, maybe they aren’t frozen.

The unfrozen birds that hit Sully’s engines destroyed them but there were more than one.

I'd dealt with frozen chickens and turkeys. They most definitely can do a lot of damage.

Apparently there are "artificial birds" used by some, but obviously it's easy enough to get real poultry complete with feathers. I found this, which refers to a lot of different conditions, including a "LARGE FLOCKING BIRD INGESTION TEST".

 
One thing about this flight, (TACA 110), that I find amazing, is the Captain of that flight, (Carlos Dardano), had over 13,000 flight hours. With almost 11,000 of those hours as a pilot in command.

And all of this by being blind in one eye. Which he lost by being shot in the face while flying light aircraft in El Salvador, when that country was in major conflict.

I didn't know a pilot could pass his medical with only 50% of his vision? Let alone get a commercial rating. One would think peripheral vision of any pilot is paramount.
 
One thing about this flight, (TACA 110), that I find amazing, is the Captain of that flight, (Carlos Dardano), had over 13,000 flight hours. With almost 11,000 of those hours as a pilot in command.

And all of this by being blind in one eye. Which he lost by being shot in the face while flying light aircraft in El Salvador, when that country was in major conflict.

I didn't know a pilot could pass his medical with only 50% of his vision? Let alone get a commercial rating. One would think peripheral vision of any pilot is paramount.
Yes, you can get a first class medical with vision in only one eye. And it’s not the peripheral vision that is the issue, it is the depth perception. But with 13,000 hours as a pilot, the depth perception becomes less of an issue, because you’re so familiar with the environment.
 
There's a Wikipedia article on the "chicken gun".

That being said, I really don't think a jet engine could handle a frozen bird. It would be like shooting a cannonball. That would clearly destroy a jet engine. But a refrigerated chicken might be more realistic in simulating a bird strike. There are some claims that DoD testing has included frozen chickens on the premise that they'll be an even tougher test, although I don't think it represents a realistic threat.
It’s not a claim that that’s what they did, it’s an apocryphal story about the foolishness of people borrowing equipment to do a test.

The story goes that they used the FAA air Cannon to shoot birds at whatever it was they were testing, only the “foolish engineers” used frozen chickens. Which is the equivalent of shooting a cannonball.

There are no birds flying around that happen to be frozen solid. So there’s no point to shooting, frozen bird carcasses at anything.

Clearly, any bird flying around that gets ingested by an aircraft engine will be alive and unfrozen.
 
Aircraft have radio altimeter auto callouts during approach, and landing , so it’s not like flying with one eye would be a problem.

That said, if both engines quit in the Airbus, and your in back up electrical emergency configuration, auto callouts are not provided , and the PM has to make those calls for the pilot flying. Probably the same in the 737.

If you start the APU ( won’t let you start until below 25,000 in EEC ) , you will still have the auto callouts which are helpful during landing, especially at night.
 
I think you’re correct, maybe they aren’t frozen.

The unfrozen birds that hit Sully’s engines destroyed them but there were more than one.

Remember, the engines have to pass the hail ingestion test and GE says they put 1 ton of manufactured hail into the engine and it didn’t destroy it. Not sure how big the hail was but you can get very large hail.
Canadian geese are big birds.
 
There's a Wikipedia article on the "chicken gun".

That being said, I really don't think a jet engine could handle a frozen bird. It would be like shooting a cannonball. That would clearly destroy a jet engine. But a refrigerated chicken might be more realistic in simulating a bird strike. There are some claims that DoD testing has included frozen chickens on the premise that they'll be an even tougher test, although I don't think it represents a realistic threat.
I think there also was a "test" on one of the larger airliner jet engines produced by GE, where they used a small explosive charge to knock out a couple of fan blades to see the result.

The "test" was done in order to make sure the broken blades were contained within the engine housing after they came loose. And not escape outward and damage the wings or fuselage. The "test" was supposedly successful.

But if I remember in both Southwest Flight 1380, (737), and the Qantas A-380 Flight 32, there was a lot of damage done to the outside of both aircraft when an engine let go.

In the case of the Southwest flight it resulted in a woman being partially sucked out of a window, (it was fatal), and in the Qantas A-380 parts punchered the wing, that resulted in a fuel leak. Fortunately both landed safely.

Then of course there was the crash of United 232 in Sioux City, Iowa, that resulted when a fan disk exploded, sending shrapnel out the side of the engine housing that severed all 3 hydraulic control lines, resulting in a complete loss of all flight control surfaces.

So I can't help but wonder if these tests really accomplish what they're setting out to achieve?
 
I remember watching the story of TACA 110 on one of the air disaster shows. If the tv show's animation was correct (probably not), the plane nearly clipped the top of a large concrete retaining wall just before touching down.
 
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