A Nippon Cargo Airlines Boeing 747-800, registration JA11KZ performing freight flight KZ-192 from Chicago O’Hare,IL (USA) to Frankfurt Hahn (Germany), was in the initial climb out of O’Hare’s runway 28R when the crew reported they flew through a flock of large birds.
The report listed about 20-25 birds, at about 1500 feet AGL and 4 or 5 birds hit the windscreen and were all over the windscreen.
The crew indicated that all systems were working normally and they wanted to carry on. The crew was handed off to departure frequency and was cleared to climb to 15,000 feet when the crew indicated they might return to Chicago to have that mess left by the flock of birds looked after.
After levelling off at 15,000 feet the crew decided to return to Chicago as a precaution to have the aircraft checked, they were not sure about their weather radar. The aircraft returned to Chicago for a safe landing on O’Hare’s runway 28C about 25 minutes after departure.
Have a listen to this recording and take note of the immediate action the crew undertook. Also listen to the language used when communicating their intentions. Birds are an ongoing issues for many airports and such occurances are common. Have you ever encountered a bird strike in your professional duties – if so, how did you react?