Thursday, January 15, 2009

Plane Saved, Birds Under Suspicion

If you haven’t heard, a US Airways jet was forced to make a crash landing into the Hudson River today, because a bird flew into one of the engines. The pilot, Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III, pulled off an amazing landing and all 155 passengers were able to walk away without serious injury.

I would like to join with the rest of the country in saying ‘wow’ and applauding Chelsey for his amazing feat.

However, there is a larger story here that the mainstream media seems reluctant to address: Why did the birds want to take out that flight? Why did they feel it necessary to sacrifice one of their own to ensure that it went down?

We have lived in relatively harmony with the birds for thousands of years, with only the rare attack on their part. They seemed content to fly around and occasionally be eaten. Why now and why this flight?

Was there someone on the plane they needed desperately to take out? Perhaps a descendent of Colonel Sanders? Was there something on the plane that they could not allow to reach its destination? Mayhap some sort of anti-avian weapon? We may never know.

I propose that the government put together a crack team of investigators to delve into this mystery. The team will comprise myself, a scientist (female, former model), a pilot (female, former model), and a computer expert (female, former model). I’m sure that within four or five years, we may be able to begin to actually figure something out, besides the fact that the other members of the team probably won’t have anything to do with me.



TX_Val said...

*laugh* Nice, the sad part is, someone will probably put together a theory, and go get a government grant to study something along those lines. Sure they'll say it's about the radio waves on that day, put out by the ground tower, or solar flares, or something.
Anyway, to be a stickler, it was actually 148 passengers and 5 crew memebers. That and it was multiple birds, it's not uncommon to have a bird strike, you see pictures of busted windows having to be replaced on planes all the time. Usually 1 bird won't take out a jet engine either. They're saying they hit an unusually large flock and took multiple birds into both engines. Oh, and that's the big kicker, why did a squadron of birds decide to sacrifice themselves. Usually even a single bird doesn't destroy and engine on a commercial airliner. The A320 has 2 engines, so these birds did a mass suicide mission.

You should apply for the grant.. find out about these ninja birds..
"Listen to your inner bovine, Give into the MOO"

Jason Janicki said...

Ah - thanks for the clarification. The one article I read had the numbers I quoted, though a later news piece did expand on the multiple birds.

It's kind of scary to think what a bird can do to a plane (if you recall the classic Mythbusters episode).

Actually, it was probably a team of nimjas firing birds en masse at the engines. Yes, I will assemble my team of crack models er, experts, and get to the investigation!

spasticfreakshow said...

I am working on a press release right now - the FAA is way behind the times on averting bird strikes. This hasn't gone out yet, but so far my colleagues say it makes Israel look too arrogant (but it's true!) - what do you think?

Israel Air Force Experts on Strikes on Gaza, but also
World Leaders on Bird Strikes & Aircraft Safety

For Immediate Release

Jerusalem, Israel — January 20, 2009
Flight 1549’s accident on the Hudson River may never have happened in the first place, if the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration was implementing technology to avert bird strike accidents developed in Israel as far back as the 1980s! US Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger III is a hero for accomplishing a near impossible feat to save the lives of his passengers, but he should never have been put in the position where both of his engines were hit by migrating Canada Geese - when ornithologists have known how to reduce migration-related bird strikes for over 25 years.
In 1983, Dr. Yossi Leshem, Director of the International Center for the Study of Bird Migration (ICSBM), an organization under the umbrella of the Tel Aviv University and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, shared his doctoral research, documenting how aircraft accidents related to bird strikes could be dramatically reduced, with the Israel Air Force (IAF). Dr. Leshem’s research concluded that aircraft should be directed out of the major migration flyways, particularly to detect migrating flocks and keep air force and civilian jets away - and recommended utilizing radar to determine flocks’ positions for safer air traffic control in real-time. In order to test the effectiveness of this theory, the Israel Air Force redirected all of their air traffic out of the migration flyways, using migration data provided by the Dr. Leshem. The results were so effective – 76% of accidents were avoided compared to previous years – the state of Israel decided to implement the no aircraft in the flyway policy for all aircraft. The state of Israel has saved an estimated $760 million and many lives through the use of Dr. Leshem’s discoveries. At first, Dr. Leshem’s research was a classified state secret, but when experience proved the theory highly successful in reducing aircraft collisions, the information was made public. Since then, experts from around the world have flocked to Israel to consult with Dr. Leshem, today a world-renowned expert on preventing bird strikes.
Dr. Leshem plans to invite Sullenberger, a former US Air Force pilot, to be the keynote speaker in the upcoming international conference this August 2009 on Bird Strikes & Aircraft Safety, to be held at Israel's Air Force House in Herzliya. Dr. Leshem was struck by Mr. Sullenberger’s miraculous water landing, which he says would not have succeeded in preserving the lives of the Airbus A320’s 155 passengers had he landed at a slightly different angle – Sullenberger’s keen senses led him to the precise position required for keeping the plane intact on contact with the water. Perhaps the FAA should send some representatives to the conference.
Israeli ornithologists are particularly engrossed in the subject of bird strikes and aircraft safety, as Israeli airspace is more vulnerable to bird strikes than most other countries in the world, with 500 million birds migrating from Europe to Africa through Israel every year. Regardless of religion, Israel is certainly the Holy Land for birds, as migrating birds must stop for food and rest by the time they’ve reached the Israeli portion of their flight – and Israel’s natural treasures of the Hula wetlands and vast open spaces in the nation’s south are so inviting.
In recent years, the Israel Air Force has been working with the ICSBM on many advanced projects involving birds and radar.
For more information on Dr. Yossi Leshem’s research on flyways and aircraft safety, please contact the ICSBM at +972 3-640-6010 or email

spasticfreakshow said...

well i already changed the lousy title dr. leshem suggested. but seriously, the u.s. is ahead in so many others, slow to learn. but for the most part, way ahead. as an ex-pat, i see how backwards israel is in most things and it makes me sick. but europe too. sad. it's probably men. if we'd all drop our airs of self-importance and learn from each other, less bad shit would happen.

Jason Janicki said...

Well, where are you publishing it? If it's in Israel, it's probably fine. If it's going out across the world (or specifically in the US), I would lighten up the language a bit.

Just out of curiousity, there seem to be a lot of puns in the text, such as 'Since then, experts from around the world have flocked to Israel . . . ' Is this intentional or purely an accident?

Yes, one thing humanity shares across all borders and religions, is the ability to be dumb in the face of better ideas.