SAS Airbus A330 Returns To Copenhagen After “Flock Of Geese” Cause Birdstrike

An Airbus A330 operated by SAS had to return to Copenhagen yesterday as a result of a birdstrike. According to passengers on board, the aircraft hit a flock of geese. Thankfully the miracle on the Hudson was not repeated as the engines remained in action.

SAS, Airbus A330, Bird Strike
An SAS Airbus A330 was forced to return to Copenhagen following a bird strike yesterday. Photo: Airbus

While commercial aircraft are usually under air traffic control while in flight, the same cannot be said about birds. With the flying animals travelling much slower than aircraft, they don’t have time to get out of the way should an aircraft creep upon them. This leads to bird strikes.

What is a bird strike?

Bird strikes can cover a huge range of incidents. In fact, any occasion where an aircraft makes contact with a bird is called a bird strike. Hitting a bird can have a variety of consequences. In minor cases, it will go unnoticed. However, hitting a bird can also lead to dents in the aircraft, sensor damage, cracked windscreens, and in the worst cases, engine failures.

Arguably the most famous bird strike of all time involved Captain Sully landing an Airbus A320 in New York’s Hudson River. However, more recently we saw a Russian A321 operated by Ural Airlines crash into a cornfield following a dual bird strike.

SAS, Airbus A330, Bird Strike
The SAS A330 turned towards Copenhagen after around 40 minutes of flight. Image: FlightRadar24.com

What about the SAS incident yesterday?

Yesterday SAS flight 943 was due to fly from Copenhagen to Chicago. The flight was to be operated by a SAS Airbus A330, registered as SE-REH. According to Planespotters, the aircraft is just 0.5 years old having been delivered to SAS in July.

The flight had been due to depart from Copenhagen at 15:40, however, it did not get into the skies until 25 minutes later at 16:05. The Aviation Herald reports that on departure from Copenhagen, the aircraft experienced a birdstrike. A passenger onboard the aircraft (@CjColclough) indicated on Twitter that the aircraft had flown through a flock of geese.

It has been reported that the aircraft continued with its climb as all instruments were indicating that it was business as usual. As such, the aircraft climbed to 32,000 feet. According to Flightradar24, the aircraft was around 40 minutes into the flight when it made a U-turn. The aircraft returned to Copenhagen, landing around 55 minutes after the pilots began to turn back to the flight’s origin.

Once on the ground in Copenhagen, the passengers were deplaned from the aircraft, and it was taken out of service pending inspection/repair. The aircraft is still on the ground in Copenhagen according to flight tracking software. It appears that nobody was injured in yesterday’s bird strike incident.

Were you onboard SAS flight 943? What did you experience? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Bjorn Ovar Johansson

We allegedly hit a flock of geese (5 hit one wing and 1 the other is what we were told) with some structural damage to the wings – the reason for turning around (I believe) was that the crew visually inspected the damage once on cruising altitude. The plane was inspected by ground staff once safely back at CPH and immediately taken out of traffic and all passengers disembarked. I was very quickly rebooked to an alternative SK flight to Chicago. All in all it was very professionally managed by SAS – both the Captain and the ground services did… Read more »

jørgen jans hagen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYFtEyBFBYA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51HE_sh2hzM By all means, Copenhagen Airport is trying to cover up a serious security scandal involving birds, where millions of aircraft passages are directly threatened by life-threatening collisions with geese from nearby bird sanctuaries on all sides of the airport. The management tries with the help of the Danish Ornithological Association to reveal how serious it is. In 2018, after nearly 9 years of pressure from shareholders, CPH was given a bird radar that clearly speaks about. the seriousness about the bird plague that threatens air traffic daily. The shareholders – the Accident Investigation Board and the Danish Pilot… Read more »