Birds: Terrorists of the Sky


If you, like us, were thinking: Birds? Seriously? They can take down a whole airplane? upon hearing that the crash of US Airways flight 1549 into the Hudson today was caused by two geese (two! geese!) then you were not alone. We at Intel were surprised, and Wolf Blitzer on CNN a little while ago was just saying, “Birds can do this?” to someone, indicating he did not have a grasp on the Situation, either. Rudimentary Googling has revealed that yes, they can, and they do: “Bird strikes,” as they are called, are a very common cause of airplane accidents, and they usually occur during takeoff, which is what happened today. What happens is this: The birds fly into the engine. Their tiny, bony bodies displace the blades, which slow them down, stop them spinning and ultimately cause the engine to fail. Blood and feathers everywhere. The FAA calls it bird ingestion. “Is there any way to stop this?” Wolf asked, sounding hysterical. “No,” was the answer he got. A better question, Wolf, may have been: Are they doing it on purpose? And, what will the new administration do about this new threat on America?

BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA [, our new favorite Web site]