Tags: Trump Administration | bird | strike | navy | doomsday | plane | class a mishap

Bird Strike Costs Navy 'Doomsday' Plane Millions

Swallow birds dangerously close to a landing Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet plane
Swallow birds dangerously close to a landing Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet plane. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 18 October 2019 08:36 AM

The Navy's "doomsday" plane, which is designed to stay in the air and act as a flying command post during a nuclear war, was grounded earlier this month after a bird hit one of its four engines, causing at least $2 million in damages.

The E-6B Mercury was attempting a maneuver to briefly touch down Oct. 2 at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station before it takes off again. Instead, it had to stay down after the bird strike, Tim Boulay, communications director for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, told The Washington Post in an email Thursday. 

The Naval Safety Center classified the incident as a "Class A" mishap, which reflects cases that result in more than $2 million in damages or in death or permanent disability.

Boulay said nobody was injured onboard the plane, and it was not clear what species of bird hit the aircraft, which is valued at $141.7 million. The damaged engine has since been replaced, and the "doomsday" plane is back in service. 

Earlier this year, another E-6B Mercury suffered millions of dollars in damages after its vertical stabilizer hit a hanger while it was being towed out at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, according to the Navy Times.

In the past decade, at least five bird strikes have caused "class A mishaps," the Navy Times reported, noting the Oct. 2 incident was the second one involving an E-6B Mercury.

Meanwhile, the Naval Safety Center reports between 1981 and 2011, 16,500 bird strikes caused $327 million in damages.

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Causing at least $2 million in damages, the Navy's "doomsday" plane, which is designed to stay in the air and act as a flying command post during a nuclear war, was grounded earlier this month after a bird hit one of its four engines.
bird, strike, navy, doomsday, plane, class a mishap
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2019-36-18
Friday, 18 October 2019 08:36 AM
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