Earlier today, a Lufthansa Cityline CRJ900 was involved in a birdstrike on departure from Munich. The aircraft was completing a domestic flight when the incident occurred. The aircraft was forced back to Munich shortly after.
Earlier today, a Lufthansa Cityline CRJ900 was involved in an incident during take-off at Munich airport. The aircraft, registered D-ACNG, was operating flight LH-2090 when the incident occurred. The flight was a domestic service with 13 passengers on board, just 16% of its capacity. It was due to depart from Munich (MUC) to Hanover (HAJ) at 10:00 UTC.
Initially, the aircraft was delayed and ended up preparing for taxi at 10:55 UTC, according to FlightRadar24. Adding to the late departure, the plane was set back even further when a bird collided with the pilot’s windscreen. The aircraft had only ascended to FL070 when it happened, and consequently had to return to the ground.
The aircraft landed back on Runway 08L just 11 minutes after it had left. The initial incident report from The Aviation Herald did not indicate any casualties. We contacted Lufthansa for more information about the incident, but it was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
Not the first incident for the aircraft in recent months
This particular member of Lufthansa Cityline’s CRJ900 fleet has been a magnet for damage in recent months. Back in February, we reported that D-ACNG had been caught up in another incident that had cracked the windshield. At that time, the aircraft had been en-route to Cologne from Munich but returned to MUC after 30 minutes. It was grounded for 30 hours before it returned to service.
It’s unfortunate that just three short months later, a similar fate has befallen the aircraft. At present, it’s not yet clear whether the damage on D-ACNG this time around is severe. Windscreens are designed to withstand the impact of a birdstrike. Of course, that depends on how the incident happens and the size of the bird. When the windscreen is cracked, there is the worry that it could be damaged further, leading to decreasing air pressure.
In any case, it’s vital to get a review and put caution ahead of schedules.
What can be done to combat birdstrikes?
Unfortunately, birdstrikes are an inevitable consequence of sharing space with animals. That said, airports do as much as they can to prevent collisions happening.
At Munich Aiport, there is a dedicated management expert. Munich Airport’s website shares:
“Oliver Weindl is at work every day to ensure safe flight operations and protect wildlife. As Munich Airport’s bird strike and wildlife management officer, his “office” consists of the extensive green spaces on and around the Munich Airport campus. His main task is to prevent collisions between animals – mainly birds – and aircraft.”
One technique is not encouraging birds to seek shelter within the airport grounds. Long grass acts as a deterrent to birds of prey and so cutting is kept to a minimum. You can find out more about what airports do to protect aircraft from birdstrike in our article here.
Have you ever been involved in a birdstrike? Let us know in the comments.