Authorities at Delhi airport declared a full emergency on Saturday afternoon after a flight suffered a bird-hit after take-off, according to reports.
India Today reported that a Dubai-bound FedEx aircraft suffered a bird-hit soon after take-off, following which the Delhi airport authorities declared a full emergency. The report added the step was taken so the plane could be landed and checked.
"According to sources, the step was taken so that the aircraft could land at the Delhi airport and technicians could check the plane for any technical glitch before the clearance. The airport authorities said that the bird strike took place at a height of 1,000 feet," reported India Today.
News agency ANI later quoted civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) as saying that the flight was cleared after inspection.
Delhi- Dubai FedEx flight was involved in air turnback due to a suspected bird hit at 1000 ft today. Delhi airport (DIAL) declared an emergency. Aircraft landed back safely. After inspection, it has been released for flight: DGCA— ANI (@ANI) April 1, 2023
Bird-hits are among the most well-known hazards to aircraft and a plane is most vulnerable to bird-hits during landing and take-off.
Science ABC notes, "Bird strikes usually occur when an airplane is flying at low altitudes. Therefore, the most favorable conditions for a bird strike are during take-offs or landings (or other related phases) of airplanes. The reason for this is obvious; most birds fly at low altitudes, to there is a greater risk of hitting an airborne machine."
The damage caused can include cracks in the glasses or aircraft body to engine failure.
"The most dangerous conditions arise when a bird hits the turbine and gets caught in the engine; this event is referred to as a jet engine ingestion (since the bird is ‘ingested’ by the engine). After being ‘stuck’ in the engine, the bird can cause a disruption in the rotatory motion of the fan blades, resulting in a partial or complete failure of that engine," notes Science ABC.
In February, an IndiGo flight from Surat to Delhi had to be diverted to Ahmedabad after it suffered a bird strike during take-off, noted India Today.
The story will be updated as and when more details emerge.