A Boeing 737 flying on behalf of Turkish Airlines hit a bird on takeoff yesterday, damaging an engine and returning to the airport. The passengers were unharmed, but the aircraft suffered severe damage to its left-hand engine.
An Anadolujet Boeing 737-800 was flying flight TK-7091 for Turkish Airlines from Kars to Ankara (a domestic flight within Turkey) when it encountered a bird strike.
Specifically, the aircraft, tail number TC-JZO, took off from Kars on runway 24 and reached around 12,000 feet when there were a loud bang and streaks of flame from its left-hand engine (a CFM International CFM56).
The crew immediately shut down the engine and turned the aircraft back around to Kars. They proceeded to land thirty minutes later on runway six.
Upon inspection of the engine, it was apparent that something had struck the turbofan blades and caused a colossal contained engine failure.
📍Anadolujet Kars(KSY)-Sabiha Gökçen(SAW) flights on B738 plane hit birds after takeoff.
📍That incident while the left engine of the plane was damaged, the pilot decided to return to Kars Airport.
— HavArenaMedya (@HavArenaMedya) September 27, 2020
The airline canceled the flight, and the 737 is still on the ground today, undergoing a full inspection.
Bird strikes are relatively uncommon occurrences to aircraft, and generally, it is rare for an engine to collide. When it does so, airplanes have two engines for this very reason, and a plane can return to a nearby airport safely. It’s only in extreme cases that an aircraft needs to perform an emergency landing like the Miracle on the Hudson, which involved both engines failing.