A Cathay Pacific flight CX198, Boeing 777-300ER returned to Auckland, New Zealand, after the radome was hit by birds during climb-out. The flight bound for Hong Kong took off about 3.51pm on January 10, 2019.
An airline spokesperson said the Boeing 777-300ER with tail number B-KQR was forced to return to Auckland Airport less than an hour into its flight.
In the absence of abnormal indications, the crew continued the climb but stopped at FL250 and decided to return to Auckland. The aircraft dumped fuel at FL150 and landed safely back on Auckland’s runway 23L about 90 minutes after departure. A post flight inspection revealed a dented radome of the aircraft.
Airways NZ spokeswoman, Emma Lee said the Cathay Pacific flight CX198 departed from Auckland International Airport about 3.51pm on Thursday.
Shortly after departure the plane was struck by multiple birds and the pilot made the decision to turn back, she said.
Lee said there was nothing to indicate an emergency situation, as the pilot had not requested any assistance or a priority landing.
Flight tracking websites showed the flight circled the upper North Island.
It was making an approach back into Auckland about 4.30pm.
It landed safely with the 200 passengers and crew on board, and the aircraft is now being inspected for any damage.
The aircraft’s nose was stoved in on impact with what was reported as “multiple birds”. While the spokeswoman was reported as saying she was unaware of the extent of the damage, Beth Nunn’s photograph graphically illustrates impact – a direct hit on the aircraft’s beezer.
The occurrence aircraft is still on the ground in Auckland about 17 hours after landing. Engineers were assessing the extent of the damage when the aircraft landed late on Thursday.
A birdstrike is defined as “a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a take off or landing roll,” according to SKYbrary. And although they are relatively common — the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recorded 11,000 wildlife strikes in one year in the U.S. — they can have dire consequences.
Since 1990, the FAA estimates that there have been 25 human fatalities and 279 injuries due to birdstrikes.
Source : Aviation Safety Network