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View Full Version : THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT - BA B777 hit by block of ice in Central America


Dog Star
28th Dec 2021, 01:47
I've got 50 plus years in aviation but have never heard of such an incident before. On walk around at destination I've seen ice accumulation on drain masts or on the lavatory service vehicle access panel but these were a rarity.

Question:
1) When incident occurred was it still day light?
2) How were the flight deck crew able to determine (TCAS?) that it was an ice block that hit them versus some other object such as weather balloon, another aircraft's debris etc?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10347757/BA-jet-flying-windshield-smashed-block-ice-fell-plane-flying-it.html

B2N2
28th Dec 2021, 03:17
It doesnít actually need to have been a block of ice, outer panes have cracked many times.

https://www.flyinginsight.com/2020/09/18/cockpit-windows-cracked-at-37000-feet-on-two-american-777s/

Unless they saw the object and itís impact Iím calling coincidence on the traffic above.

DaveReidUK
28th Dec 2021, 06:29
There is absolutely no evidence in the the article (or in the linked report in the Sun) to support the the sensationalist headline.

de fumo in flammam
28th Dec 2021, 07:40
When the outer pane shatters, it can go with such a bang, my first reaction was that we've hit something, but it's just spontaneous.

ATC Watcher
28th Dec 2021, 09:19
The photo on the original article, providing it is that of the actual aircraft , seem to show an impact (top right) and not really a pane crack,.
But as to determine it was caused by ice is pure speculation I would say , unless they managed to recover some after landing which is likewise extremely unlikely .
Small meteorite or space debris could also be speculated. would be interesting to compare the time of occurrence with any Kourou space launch that day.

Uplinker
28th Dec 2021, 09:41
We had an outer screen shatter one day. I was picking up a pen from underneath my seat at the time, and the impact of the object hitting our screen sounded like the PF had dropped a heavy manual onto the cockpit floor.

There were both straight and circular cracks, radiating out from a single point near the top of the screen. We were at FL350 with nothing above us - except possibly military aircraft, that we didn't know about.

I think it was something very small from outer space or possibly a paint fleck or tiny piece of debris from a satellite launch, which had accelerated to very high speed entering our atmosphere. We certainly didn't see what the object was.

I would post a photo of the screen but I cannot find it in my library.

ShyTorque
28th Dec 2021, 09:51
Oh no!

http://www.dumb.com/m_pictures/1a7a88ba1de706abc327ebd2689ec782.jpg

Locked door
28th Dec 2021, 10:22
If you look at the top right of the screen you can clearly see the impact point.

It does highlight that SLOP and ensuring youíre on a different offset to aircraft nearby is a really really good idea.

LD

blob:https://www.pprune.org/2ea94aac-1c98-43de-ad88-f0e918c51513

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/636x382/image_27938bc24fc810cfe4a7945d65900932a839e214.jpeg

wiggy
28th Dec 2021, 10:26
If you look at the top right of the screen you can clearly see the impact point.

It does highlight that SLOP and ensuring youíre on a different offset to aircraft nearby is a really really good idea.

LD

blob:https://www.pprune.org/2ea94aac-1c98-43de-ad88-f0e918c51513

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/636x382/image_27938bc24fc810cfe4a7945d65900932a839e214.jpeg

Arenít some of the electrical feeds to the screen (windshield heat) also in the vicinity of what appears to be an impact point..

ManaAdaSystem
28th Dec 2021, 13:11
The cracked windscreens I have seen, including one that happened on the ground, have looked like the picture above. Starting at a point on the edge, then like a spiders web outwards from that point. I guess an impact in the same area would look much the same.

vegassun
28th Dec 2021, 14:55
Hit a pigeon sized bird once below 10k doing 250kts and it sounded like somebody hit the airplane with a 2 x 4 or baseball bat as hard as they could swing it. The amazing thing was the strike was on the side of the fuselage just below the cockpit.

B2N2
28th Dec 2021, 15:13
What appears to be an impact point.
Doesnít mean it is.

HOVIS
28th Dec 2021, 16:41
Localised screen heating element overheating can do that.

tdracer
28th Dec 2021, 17:41
The cracked windscreens I have seen, including one that happened on the ground, have looked like the picture above. Starting at a point on the edge, then like a spiders web outwards from that point. I guess an impact in the same area would look much the same.
I'd want to take a look at the outside. If it was caused by an impact, the impact would have been on the outer edge of the panel, meaning there would almost certainly be corresponding damage to the outer frame of the window.

Terry Dactil
28th Dec 2021, 20:08
It is much more likely to have been an electrical problem.
That "impact point" looks like where the heater power and temperature sensors connect into the corner of the window,
The win-screens are heated for a good reason: they get very brittle and prone to cracking if cold, and a localized hot spot doesn't do them much good either.

SRM
29th Dec 2021, 01:02
Sorry to say it looks like a burn mark has caused the pane to crack.
Note the discolouration and delamination at the top of screen.

Never heard of flying FOD except for the odd chunk of Blue Ice.

CCA
29th Dec 2021, 01:21
What appears to be an impact point.
Doesnít mean it is.

Exactly, what looks and sounds thus deducted as impact was most likely as others have said simply be the point of stress due to whatever failure, electrical / incorrectly installed fasteners, length / torque / fatigue / corrosion.

gcal
31st Dec 2021, 10:30
I've got 50 plus years in aviation but have never heard of such an incident before. On walk around at destination I've seen ice accumulation on drain masts or on the lavatory service vehicle access panel but these were a rarity.

Question:
1) When incident occurred was it still day light?
2) How were the flight deck crew able to determine (TCAS?) that it was an ice block that hit them versus some other object such as weather balloon, another aircraft's debris etc?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10347757/BA-jet-flying-windshield-smashed-block-ice-fell-plane-flying-it.html

It's the Daily Fail!

brakedwell
31st Dec 2021, 20:43
It was a long time ago, but I had a similar looking incident with an RAF Britannia. We had night stopped in Calgary and were climbing through ten thousand feet on the way to Gander when there was a loud bang as the co-pilots windscreen crazed in a similar fashion. We returned to Calgary as we were not sure of the security of the broken windscreen, which was replaced two days later. We were informed it was definitely a failure of the windscreen