Common Themes

Flawed Assumptions

Prior to this accident it was assumed that birds did not pose a large threat to transport airplanes. While bird encounters were relatively common, it was widely believed that a transport airplane could experience a bird impact encounter and not be adversely affected. The previous history of bird encounters tended to support that assumption. Further, design and test considerations existing in the airplanes fleet of this era, and based on operational safety prior to this accident, appeared to be effective. This accident demonstrated that certain types of bird encounters could result in transient airplane effects that, in critical phases of flight, could result in operational impacts beyond the capabilities of airplanes and flight crews.

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