A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight going to Jeddah from Peshawar had to change its course and land in Karachi instead after a bird struck the nose of the aircraft.
The said aircraft was a Boeing 777 and had around 300 passengers inside. The plane was damaged at the front due to a bird crashing into it after which, the pilot landed the plane at the Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport.
According to the PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar, the flight PK-735 took off at 5 pm from Peshawar on Tuesday. It had covered only a few kilometers of its journey when a bird crashed into it.
“We made a decision to land the plane in Karachi at around 7 pm and inspect the aircraft for damages. There was a possibility that a part would need replacement and once in Jeddah, there would have been a considerable delay in having the part flown in from Pakistan,” said the PIA spokesperson.
He further divulged that the engineers had performed the necessary repairs at the Karachi airport. After obtaining the clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority, the aircraft resumed its journey to Jeddah at 9 pm.
However, an aviation source told ProPakistani that the nature of the incident was far more serious. He said that the bird hit the plane during takeoff but the pilot continued to fly the aircraft for 2 hours before being forced to land at Karachi airport for necessary maintenance.
“Nose of aircraft is a very sensitive area where navigational and communion equipment is installed. Bird hit at nose can damage this equipment and cause serious problems to the aircraft while in flight,” our source added.
The source further mentioned that continuing to fly was a violation of the safety rules of general aviation and PIA safety as well. As per SOP, in case of a bird hit, the pilot must land back at the airport for inspection as soon as possible. And without repair, the aircraft must not be allowed to fly again.
Most bird hit cases are reported at the engine of aircraft. In 44 percent incidents, bird hits the aircraft engine, 31 percent wings, 13 percent windshield, 8 percent nose and 4 percent fuselage of the aircraft.