Flock of Geese Tried to Take Down Newark Flight to China

By
According to the <i>Post</i>, several of these were "ingested" by the plane's left engine.
Photo: Getty Images

We almost didn't cover this story, because, hey, what's another geese attack on a plane? But then we realized, it's an uptick in tempo of the DRUMBEAT TO THE APOCALYPSE, that's what it is. Listen to this:

Hong Kong-bound Continental Flight 99, a twin-engine Boeing 777 with 301 aboard, was 300 feet up at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it smacked into a gaggle of about 10 Canada geese, aviation sources told The Post. The pilot told controllers the geese hit the left wing of the craft, which was fully loaded with fuel for the 16-hour flight. "He said the whole left side of the aircraft was banged up, the wing got hit, and possibly an engine," said Ray Adams, a Newark air-traffic controller on duty at the time of the incident.


Luckily for our side of the brewing bird-human war, a Post reporter was embedded on the perilous flight, and recorded the "near-death" experience for intelligence purposes.

The Boeing circled at least four times around Exit 8 near Old Bridge and Hightstown during the fuel dump — leaving passengers with little to do but pray for their safety while the pilots went about their preparations. "It was a whole flocking family of geese," Scott said. "Members of the flight crew, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the incident, said they had seen a single-goose strike before. Never a flock."


Let's walk through this: The Post had another reporter interview the reporter who was on the flight and had himself interviewed the flight crew. What do we learn from this whole tale? A couple of important things: First, Post reporters apparently speak out loud the way they write ("A whole flocking family of geese"??). And second, planes are fairly frequently dumping gas over neighborhoods near airports. Aviation experts say the gas evaporates before it hits the ground, but that's also what they say about the poop that gets flushed out of airplanes every time someone uses the bathroom, and we've never believed that for a second.

Jet gets goosed [NYP]