Bird Delays Virgin Australia'Melbourne Launceston Flight

2nd Jun 2015

An 8:35 a.m. Virgin Australia flight scheduled from Melbourne to Launceston was delayed because of a bird. However, unlike most times, when a feathery creature finds its way into the jet engines, this time the bird had other plans and had entered the crew cabin.

This crew tried to capture the sparrow, but after several failed attempts, they had to admit defeat and delay the flight.

In the end, the passengers had to wait another, bird-free, plane to take them to their destination.

The flight was to take off the Melbourne airport at 8:30 a.m. and was supposed to land in Launceston at 9:40 a.m. However, due to this delay, the plane arrived at approximately 11:15 a.m.

According to the spokeswoman for Virgin Australia Libby Armstrong, the bird flew in through the plane's door before passengers got to board.

Armstrong also said:

"In order to prevent our passengers getting in a flap and to ensure they would be in flight as soon as possible, the decision was made to make an aircraft change. Those passengers are now on their way to Launceston and are due to arrive at approximately 11:15 a.m. We hope to have the sparrow on its merry way as soon as possible too."

Normally, birds can be a great threat to aircrafts in flight if they get inside the jet engine. A bird strike, or BASH (Bird Aircraft Strike) has been known to lead to several major accidents.

One such was the 2009 drop of the US Airways Flight 1549, which ditched in the Hudson River as it lost both of its turbines. A later investigation showed that the plane ran into a flock of geese at around 975 meters altitude. Fortunately, all 150 passengers and 5 crew members were successfully evacuated following a water landing.

Fortunately, the Virgin Australia flight was still on the ground and there was no such threat to the passengers. The bird likely entered the cabin in search of food or was simply lost.