Bird strike damages CAL aircraft

| 09/11/2010

(CNS): A bird strike to Cayman Airways flight KX201 bound for Grand Cayman from Tampa minutes after the plane took off from the airport caused the aircraft to be grounded yesterday. After the bird hit the plane the crew immediately requested emergency clearance to return to Tampa’s runway, and landed safely without incident about 10 minutes after departure on Monday, 8 November at 3:25pm. Maintenance inspections on the ground in Tampa after landing, indicated minor damage to the aircraft, resulting in the aircraft being removed from service for repairs and the cancellation of flight KX201.

Cayman Airways Acting Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain Adrian “Rex” Miller commended the crew’s response. “The swift and professional response of Cayman Airways Captain Perry Panton, assisted by CaptainLeon Missick, is testament to their training and competence, which ensured our passengers’ safety and comfort throughout the event,” he said.
The airline said it had accommodated all passengers affected by the cancellation of flight KX201 by rerouting them through Miami where they connected with Cayman Airways flights to Grand Cayman.

Acting CEO Fabian Whorms said, “The safety and security of our passengers is our ultimate priority and we would like to thank all passengers involved for their patience and support. Additionally, we sincerely apologise for any inconveniences that the delayed arrival into Grand Cayman may have caused our passengers.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Was actually pretty minor damage ….just change of fan blades…?

    • Retired Aviator says:

      Luckily the damage was in fact minor as there was no damage to the engine internals and the aircraft was repaired within a day and is already back in service after only replacing 4 or 5 fan blades that had bent tips (from over a hundred fan blades).

      Lucky the birdbypassed the engine central core and therefore did not affect the engine’s ability to produce thrust. The power indications to the crew were normal after the bird strike from what I am told andthe the crew did exactly what was required and took no chances. The pilots reduced power on the affected engine as a precaution, immediately discontinued the climb and requested clearance for an emergency landing to get the aircraft safely on the ground as quick as possible. Good Job CAL.  

      The ground agents did have some difficulties getting the passengers re assigned to other flights on short notice but I am sure CAL will review the event and refine their process going forward, the key issue is that safety and composure was maintained without scaring the daylights out of the passengers unnecessarily and that is the most important thing.  


      • cd says:

        I was also on the affected flight and I think Retired Aviator has it correct. The pilot clearly couldn’t tell from his indicators which engine was affected because he contacted the attendant by phone and she asked me which engine it was–clearly the right one.  The pilot definitely reduced the engine thrust but did not fully shut it down as best I could tell.  I don’t know the protocols in this situation, but he brought the plane around to a gentle and uneventful landing.   This was the most frightening flying event I’ve experienced in 57 years and I’m grateful for the pilot’s skill in this situation.

        I agree the desk staff were not competent in transferring our tickets over to American.  It took over an hour for them to figure out how to do it.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Birdstrike… minor damage? Really??

    I was on that plane. Some misinformation here. The bird struck the right nose area, bouncing off into the path of the #2 (right side) engine, into which it was ingested, causing a loud bang and an immediate loss of power to that engine and a strong smoke smell filled the cabin (fried bird smoke coming through bleed air system). I was sitting next tothe engine and saw the bird get ingested into the engine. Ingesting a bird directly into a jet (turbofan) isn’t a minor situation – birds bring planes down – remember the A320 (Capt Sully) on the Hudson?). The crew elected not to do a precautionary shutdown of the damaged engine – a judgement call – and nursed the engine around for the emergency landing, also using it for reverse thrust on the uneventful landing (other than being chased down the runway by numerous emergency vehicles). Most of the people on board had no clue what was going on – the crew was not very informative and perhaps should have fully raised the passengers awareness and have them primed for a prompt evacuation in case of fire (a real possibility). Post landing external visual inspection of the engine revealed significant damage to the first stage rotor blades – presumably damage was inflicted deep into the engine too. This is not minor damage as reported by CAL. That plane will be grounded for quite a while. The Chief Pilot and flight crew should review the incident and whether or not it was prudent to keep the damaged engine running, especially since the plane was lightly loaded. Also review procedures in regards to preparing passengers for a possible emergency exit during a real emergency. 

    The disaster was after the passengers deplaned. CAL was not capable of dealing with the returning passengers. Passengers stood in front of the Cayman Airways counter for 4.5 hours as the agents tried to figure out how to get them on American Airlines flights back to GCM. At no time did an agent talk to the people waiting in line to inform them of the plan, explain the delay, to provide water or snacks, to ask if people would prefer to overnight in Tampa or Miami or to prioritize the passengers that needed to return most urgently. There was also a disabled old man in a wheelchair who was disregarded for over 3 hours by the agents. By the time the agents figured out how to get passengers onto American Airlines, it was too late to get back to GCM for most passengers and most were shipped off to MIA to overnight there… where, by the way, there were more issues with vouchers and accommodations. The vouchers I finally received ended up being in the wrong name and weren’t accepted by the hotel – I had to return to find an agent to get them redone. Everything after deplaning the CAL 737 was really pathetically handled. Totally unacceptable. 

    So that’s the real story… quite a lot different than the official press release from Cayman Airways and what’s being reported in the press! Go figure!

  3. Bobby Anonymous says:

    Was the bird injured?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent skills of Caymanian pilots.  Noother pilot from any other country could have brought this plane back safely.  Caymanian pilots are the best in the world and should be the highest paid!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your second sentence is an utterly ridiculous statement. It is a sweeping condemnation of all pilots who happen not to be Caymanian. Yes, Caymanian pilots are good, no doubt about that. But all airline pilots are trained to handle situations like this and would have taken the appropriate actionsafely in all probability.

      Apologies to the pilots of BA, Delta, Air Jamaica, etc.etc.etc, I could go on and on.

    • Rorschach says:

      Guess you were hiding under a rock when Capt. Sullenberger (Sully) make that miraculous landing in the Hudson river with NO loss of life, after not only a bird strike(multiple) but a loss of BOTH engines…Kudos to the pilots of KX, but let’s not get too caught up in the moment….

    • Anonymous says:

      You can’t be serious. Half loaded plane, one fully functional engine, one with reduced thrust, no control or airframe damage.. no fire. He just took vectors back around and landed it like any other pilot would have. 

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      Good one. You almost had me dog.

  5. Anonymouse says:

    Is Mr. Fabian Whorms still the Acting CEO at CAL. I thought I heard that he was now the CEO.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I always know I’m safe on Cayman Airways!  Great job by the pilots. 

    Not quite sure the "minor damage" warrants the sensationalizing headline and when did CAL get a 787?  Thought Boeing said those were delayed again. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks CNS for changing the pic from the 787 – thought that was odd.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi all …yes you may say  the damage was minor but  considering that it was a significant bird strike which caused damage to  one of the engines which in those circumstances the engine would have been shut down and the plane landed with one engine ….hence the emergency landing.

      Good job Pilots and flight Attendants ..Our Cayman Airways one of the safest Airlines in the world

      • Sting Ray says:

        FYI…I know as a fact that here was no engine shut down and no loss of power and the plane landed with both engines operating. 


      • Anonymous says:

        Hey, they are called "Cabin Crew" nowadays buster!

        LOL joke!

        I’m happy to hear this incident was not more serious and I’m proud of the entire crew!