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Nepal - Boeing 737 colliding with Bar headed geese

 A flock of 10 migrating Bar Headed Geese collided with the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737–800 at TIA, carrying 180 passengers, close to touch down, at 17:17 PM on 21 March 2014. Two geese were killed, crew and passengers were safe. The landing light’s lance got damaged.

Ram Mani Thapaliya

07 April 2014, Nepal

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 – Bird strike 21 March 2014, Kathmandu

 

Presence of passing migratory birds at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) has turned out to be an additional dispute to the Tribhuvan International Airport Civil Aviation Office (TIACAO), Kathmandu, Nepal.

A flock of 10 migrating Bar Headed Geese collided with the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737–800 at TIA, carrying 180 passengers, close to touch down, at 17:17 PM on 21 March 2014. Two geese were killed, crew and passengers were safe. The landing light’s lance got damaged.

 

Among the Bar Headed Geese, 39 other bird species have been threatening  the aircraft at TIA for many years. Most hazardous are Black Kites, Steppe Eagles and Red-headed Vultures. 

 

Migrating Bar Headed Geese may reach altitudes of 22,000 feet AGL. The flock may have been migrating from India to Tibet and apparently came down at TIA to escape the thunder lighting and storm in the sky on March 21. Additionally, the landing and runway conditions were reported as ‘low visibility’ and ‘wait and see’. These may have contributed to the strike as well.

 

In a statement presented to TIA, the aircraft’s pilot in command wrote: “Aircraft collided with a flock of Birds upon touch down at .02 in KTM. ATC was informed while taxing to the Bay. After parking, feathers of birds on the left engine cowl and the left fixed landing lights were discovered.”

 

About 70 bird strikes have been reported at TIA since the early 1990s. The bird strike that occurred on 28 September 2012 with Sita Air (Dornier 228-200) resulted in a crash in which 19 persons died. AOD Officiating Director Deo Chandra Lal Karn said. “The cause of crash of Sita Air Dornier was not only Bird Strike, there were other factors as well.”

 

TIA has adopted techniques to disperse the birds visiting the airport. However, it seems lacking to follow the ‘Waste Management and Land Use Near Airport’ which was one of the two major conclusions of study of Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer submitted to CAAN in 2001.

Additional to this, TIA should consider having a radar to detect the birds in a cloudy, rainy or even in the dark hours within and around airport vicinity.

 

 

 

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