September 2000 Bird Strike Involving a
737-400 at 10,000 Feet near LaGuardia Airport
During early September 2000, a Pro Air 737-400 aircraft that was flying at 10,000 feet and 314 knots near LaGuardia Airport in New York sustained significant windshield damage from a bird strike. The strike occurred during daytime visual meteorological conditions. Glass fragments from the windshield caused minor lacerations on both of the captain's arms. The captain also reported that his face felt "sunburned." Fortunately, the captain was not severely injured and the damaged windshield did not lead to a loss of cabin pressure. Both the captain and the first officer were able to perform their duties throughout this event and were able to make an uneventful landing. Two pictures of the damaged windshield are included below.
This incident points out the hazards that bird strikes continue to pose to airline aircraft. Although a 1999 FAA report on wildlife hazards to aircraft indicates that less than 1% of reported strikes occur at or above 10,000 feet, the higher speeds common at these altitudes imply a greater likelihood of aircraft damage.
Note that under FAR 25.775, a cockpit windshield of a large jet transport has to withstand the impact of a four-pound bird traveling at speeds up to the design cruising speed of the aircraft at sea level. Although feathers and other evidence was recovered from the area of impact, it is unknown whether the bird exceeded four pounds or if the windshield sustained damage in excess of what was required by regulations.
http://airsafe.com/events/birdhit.htm -- Revised: 22 January 2017