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Squawks & HeadlinesChinese passenger jet hits mysterious object at 26,000ft

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Chinese passenger jet hits mysterious object at 26,000ft

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A passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing after a mysterious mid-air collision with a 'foreign object' at 26,000ft severely dented its nose cone. (www.dailymail.co.uk) More...

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soday
Sean O'Day 5
Has anyone talked to superman lately?
allyfieldman
Alan Field 5
Hi Everyone
I've seen exactly the same damage to the nose dome of a British Caledonian 747 a number of years ago when I was an engineer in the hangar at LGW.
As far as I remember(and it was a good few years ago!), the theory was that it had been caused by a sudden de-compression in the nose dome itself due to the normal vent holes being taped over during painting. There was no signs whatsoever of any impact. I do believe this theory was backed up with evidence.
I'm sure our friends at Boeing would be able to find it in their archives circa early to mid 80's!
NF2G
David Stark 2
There was a recent failure in a Boeing 787 caused by somebody painting over the vent holes in that troublesome battery box. Your theory has some current plausibility.
Orville1000
Orville1000 2
The standard atmosphere psi of 14.7lb versus that at cruise level ambient, 3.4psi or some such, would be substantially insufficient to account for radome material deformation in flight.
drabe62
Agustin Bueso 1
Hahahahahaha, you made my day.
JCMIA
James Carlin 1
If the vent holes were covered, presumably it would have been at ground level. The pressure at 26,000 feet would have been lower - unless the holes were covered on top of Mount Everest or K2. So the dome would have exploded, not imploded??
allyfieldman
Alan Field 1
I think the theory was that eventually the pressure inside the dome overcame the adhesive of the tape and the sudden de-compression caused the failure. We used good strong masking tape in those days!
NF2G
David Stark 1
You are assuming the failure would occur on the first ascent after the holes were covered.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
......not like the cheap crap they sell today....I tell you what.
BERspotterDE
Michael Laue Ambassador 4
could have been the german "Euro Hawk" ;)
USAFcptnShades
USAFcptnShades 3
Damn drones...
stevooz
steve rogers 3
watch out for those lousy alien drivers !!!
ch623
Christopher Hansen 5
I'll bet it was that damn sasquatch
acmi
acmi 6
high altitude dim sum, or perhaps an egg roll launched from N Korea
joelwiley
joel wiley 4
Definitely a weather balloon, according to Project Bluebook. The Bundeswehr drones don't go that high.
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 4
Peking duck?
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
I like your thinking. A Very plausible explanation, and better than most that I have seen.
Neil49
Neil49 1
That's what I was thinking...or at least some other very low-mass object. Perhaps one of those ubiquitous high-flying plastic grocery bags?
jpreston1
Josh Preston 5
Yup, had to be aliens. No other rational explanation...
ChrisMD123
ChrisMD123 13
I'm pretty certain that this was a UFO. Why ? Because:
1. They don't know what it was (unidentified);
2. At 26,000 feet, it was probably flying;
3. And unless physics has been failing lately, it's almost certainly an object.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
You are exactly right and accurate on this one. I do not think it was a bird because of no blood. However, instead of flying it could have been falling, but still falls under the "F" :)
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Well as Woody told Buzz, "That's not flying! It's Falling....with STYLE"
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Very accurately stated.
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 3
They must be reeeeeally tiny.
dmanuel
dmanuel 2
I wonder if the Radome was replaced with a knock-off that failed due to aerodynamic forces.
MHarryE
Michael Enzmann 2
Really resembles most of the cars around here after deer strikes. They don't often leave a blood trail. I vote for one of Santa's reindeer on a practice mission.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 2
Having hit "objects" several times in my flying career, every one was a bird and there was blood and guts and feathers all over the plane. After landing, on one occasion, feathers were found in the tail and one mechanic even identified the feathers as from a hawk. In this discussion, not finding any remnants of a bird does make me wonder. Look, there are things going on in Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, California that we will never know. A small drone at FL 260? Sure.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
I wonder what the TBR (time between replacement) are on those deer
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
either that or the bondo finally fell off
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
I saw the black marks but that could be from the paint chipping away or it hitting something on the ground and then being "repaired" ....it does look like it sucked in due to a pressure change...It didn't bust so what you say could have happened.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I kind of disagree with you here. the black marks are from the paint chipping away, however, being sucked in... they were level at 26K so no pressure changes. The Radome is composite and not metal, so if it was pressure it would have been a different type of damage. There is no blood, so it was not a bird. There is a history of Bird Strikes as high as 29,000 (a Goose went through the cockpit window of a 727, but looking at the images does not appear to be a bird.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
it's a mystery....no blood...damaged radome.....they hit something or vise versa....there are geese and condors that fly that high but they didn't see anything and no one knows what happened.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Don't forget where the report originated.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 1
Jap Goose on Ox
jwmitchell1949
jack mitchell 1
IRS AGAIN !
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
That definitely doesn't look like damage from a hit, more like a structure failure.
geofscott
Geoffrey Beth 1
blue ice from another jet above? OR Meteoroid been ruled out? I'd check the freezing line first.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
"If you think this look bad, you should see the other guy."

All joking aside, if there was a high altitude strike of another object, eg. weather balloon, spy satellite, etc., I wonder what it looks like after such a catastrophic direct hit. Get's one thinking how to go about searching for and finding said struck object after apparently falling to the ground.
rsm2000e
Robert McDonald 1
UFO's are excluded from ATC control - since they are not registered with any official government agency. Therefore it is likely the UFO pilot will be investigated upon return to his/its home planet- and potentially will be fired.
JENNYJET
JENNIFER JORDAN 1
My bet is that an aircraft at a much higher altitude ( military or commercial ) lost some ice deposits and simple bad luck caused impact. It can never be proven of course given the lack of other sinister evidence such as described by other contributors. North Korea does not have the intellectual capacity to mount such an attack to an aircraft in flight with such accuracy!!
shiftdawg
denny oconnell 1
alien asleep at the wheel!
edmundsingheiser
Edmund Singheiser 1
Think about blue Ice from an A/C above?.
gvonurff
GREGORY VON URFF 1
Weather balloon?!?
hatch
ian hatch 1
Many (MANY) years ago there was a report of a goose hitting a B29, I think it was, over the atlantic at about 20 kfeet - possible?
toolguy105
toolguy105 1
I thought this was first reported as a birdstrike upon departure. Are THEY KNO reporting it as a UFO incident AT ALTITUDE?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
This article's publication probably should have been delayed until at least some preliminary tests were taken and some real possibilities put forward. To limit answers to a UFO strike is limiting and ridiculous.
lynx318
lynx318 1
What if plane was at higher altitude, vent holes froze over, descended to 26000 then pressure implosion?
spdmrcht
Ron Lorenz 1
I'm guessing it was a chunk of Chinese Smog!
Bernie20910
Bernie Behling 1
Well, there goes one of Google's "Project Loon" balloons...
TheFasterGun
Faster Gun 1
It was 'swamp gas'. Nothing to see here, folks. Now move along....
mjpharrison55
Matthew Harrison 1
Correct me if I am wrong but I think that if it was a large object, what did it do when it passed the right side of the airplane? The passengers would of seen it or it would of hit the wing or the engine of the aircraft.
Flightdog
Roger Curtiss 1
I saw a thread about this incident on another site and someone was espousing the theory that over time the paint on the radome gets chipped and thinned due to exposure to the elements causing moisture to leak into the radome and eventually the radome collapses in on itself... It did not make much sense to me either!
granny02
Martha Eskridge 1
No mystery object, just another US spying drone.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
The radome is not pressurized. The bulkhead just in front of the flight deck AKA cockpit, is the last compartment to hold pressure. There's a reason for this. There is nothing up there that needs pressurization. The components and radar antenna don't need pressurized air. There are fans and air evacuation ports that allow hot air to be controlled. The nose is expendable. On the ground, the fans run like crazy. In the air, enough cool air is available. This China Air jet hit something---not a bird.
allyfieldman
Alan Field 1
The radome is not 'normally' pressurized. That was my point. Leaving tape over vent holes forces it to be pressurized. Hey, this is just a theory in the absence of any evidence to the contrary. What I do know is, I've seen it before.
monstrok
John Clark 1
There is no blood in the impact area. No blood, no bird. Something uniform and smooth hit it given the uniformity of the dent and the lack of punctures on the radome. Maybe a rubber/plastic covering, o-ring or some kind of sealing material made the black marks. It should be very easy to run a chemical analysis on the debris left in the impact area.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
No blood....no feathers.....no real evidence of what this was....nobody go hurt that we know of....Has anyone else seen these new internet balloons that Google is experimenting with on the news....They are essentially deployed, ride the jet stream and are remotely controlled in the sense that they can change altitude by having the ability to activate burners like that of a hot air balloon.....Maybe the bottom of on of these balloons got blasted.
logic28
logic28 1
The shape of the dome is almost as strong as an egg shell so… let’s think about it before blaming decompression.
Furthermore if decompression really did have a part in this failure, it would have to be so instantaneous that no way small vent holes would have allowed to happen.
It must be an object of some sort…perhaps…..one of all those lose bits left hanging out there from damaged satellites……
DeleObileye
Dele Obileye 1
Pls wait before jumping to conclusions about UFO. Should we not think of obvious things like fragments of meteorites. Recents events like the one over Russia serve as reminders!
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
Oh crap... Not Blue Ice... But that makes more since than anything else.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 2
look up the bear-headed goose
NF2G
David Stark 2
Really? You expect the news media to hold back on a story until they have more facts? What decade are you living in?
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
I disagree... Radomes are composite. If it had been structural, it would have split or cracked in the center. Looks like they ran into a canon ball or something similar.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 2
Older than you I recon. Hell, they can't spell, they can't punctuate, they can't put facts together and they can't hold my interest. They might as well wait until there are some facts to write about
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
bar-headed goose....sorry for the mis-spell
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Plausible from the elevation standpoint. Lack of blood is a sticking point. Could the A/C pass thru WX to wash it off? We have limited info from China. Could we expect an FAA/NTSB type report from the Chinese as some point?

http://archive.audubonmagazine.org/birds/birds0011.html
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Something does not feel right about that... With the drains taped over that would make more pressure inside the radome. As the plane climbs there would be more air trapped inside being more prone to blow out, not in. Further more, if it had sucked in, I would have expected more fragments.
Orville1000
Orville1000 1
This is a bird strike on the radome of a B737 http://avherald.com/h?article=45b9d9a8 Fairly uniform compression, no scuffing.

Birds don't explode on impact. They tend to punch through aluminum if direct hit or deflect in off-angle. Can sometimes leave scuff marks (as in this case), sometimes not. Birds ingested into engines leaves snarge because are blendered.

Have to figure,with millions of radome incident-free airliner flights on the books, that Boeing radome designers know what they're doing. They're built in accordance with the buckling equation.

mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I'm convinced rapid decompression would have left a convex stress rather than a concave one. It's all conjecture from here and will be up to the airline or the Chinese version of the NTSB to investigate. As a corporat6ion I would replace the dome cover and get the plane back in the air carrying pax. It was not pilot error from the information provided so from a corporate standpoint there is no hurry to find out what it was.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
if it were a meteorite something tells me there would have been a hole instead of a dent.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Off thread.
Off wall.
Off chair ROFL.
Good one Jim
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I read the article and don't see anywhere a report of a bird strike.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Is that a Willie Nelson song?
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I have dropped adjacent to gaggles of Canada Geese on approaches in New England at 15-18K. I recently read of migrating birds like storks overflying the Himalayas at 20K+. I didn't think a metabolism could lean out that far, but there it is.
williamkoester
William Koester 1
...or drone.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
No Christmas next year I guess....
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
There's not enough information to say you're right or wrong. Most of the comments here are nonsensical and about nothing. One of them calls it a UFO strike and goes on to explain the literal meaning of UFO. Hell, look at the comment that follows this one.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
At that speed... Chances are they would have never seen anything.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
No thank you. You think about it.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
I have worked A LOT of Bird Strikes... There is always some kind of blood or guts left behind. How did this one not have any evidence. That punch on the 737 did not leave any evidence, so how can they be sure that is what it was?
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
As my Zool prof used to say "the problem is that the animals don't read the book and don't know they're not supposed to do that.?
Orville1000
Orville1000 1
The 737 hit a yellow-billed kite after V1 on t/o from Durban, RSA. The Captain and Comair confirmed the event.

Soft tissue birds *deflected* off radomes (hollow, non-rigid object) do not leave behind blood evidence. Scuffing is not uncommon, but no blood, unless the bird was already bleeding outward, therefore presented the material. For one, the impact event transpires faster than the bird can egress blood. Two, under impact physics, with the bird's skin and blood, veins, arteries, each immediate adjacent layers meeting the impact surface at basically in unison, the skin and veins would have to be ripped apart for blood to escape and occurring faster than kinetic energy can deflect the bird and all its matter off to whichever so-called new path.

I don't know which or how many bird strikes you've been involved with, but all collisions, whether elastic or inelastic all conform to the laws of physics. All of which include the transfer of energies between dynamic matter.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
Not the point but.

Hmmm. Some advantages to illiteracy.
clabo
gene kwiecinski 1
"The book says that's impossible."

"That's what I love about the 707. She can do everything but read."
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Might there be a speed component to the force the impact? Airspeed after V1 and Cruise at FL 260 would seem to me to be quite different. Just wondering.
NF2G
David Stark 1
"Bees can't fly? What are we doing, bowling?"

TV commercial, I think for USAF recruitment.
Orville1000
Orville1000 1
Of course, F=MA. I don't know what the math is for a deflecting inelastic collision between a B737 with a mass upwards to 50,000kg against a 1kg bird (the Comair incident) or B757 against whatever that involved. No numbers have been published. And most of all it's China. The 26,000' altitude claim could be false.

Bird strikes are most common at t/o, short final and approach. But have happened as high as ~37.000'. Incredible microscopic needle in a haystack misfortune.
andriy17
Andriy Tsyupka 1
holy crap!
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
"Look! Up in the sky!" "It's a bird!" "It's a plane!" "It's Superman!"... Yes, it's Superman ... strange visitor from another planet, who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men! Superman ... who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!

-TV show opening
wdhearrell
wdhearrell -1
Were the passengers charged extra for the dent? Like a rental car? The airlines seems to charge for everything else these days.
KingAirB200
KingAirB200 -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Plane Dented at 26,000 Feet

Photos have emerged showing a Chinese passenger plane with its nose dented, with some suggesting that a UFO caused it.

The Sun reported that the Air China plane, which was apparently damaged flying at around 26,000 feet above sea level, was forced to make an emergency landing after the denting. Officials have not elaborated on what caused the damage.


http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/103134-ufos-suggested-as-cause-of-air-china-plane-dent/
tommy2684
Tommy Scalici -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Plane dented at 26,000ft

An Air China 757's nose was dented at 26,000 ft. Plane made a safe landing.

http://www.today.com/video/today/52165807?from=2n-us_msnhp
isardriver
isardriver -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

plane dented at 26,000 ft

air china 757 made an emergency landing after hearing a loud bang at 26k. the nose cone was damaged

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp=52165807&;
RHiggs
Ralph Higgs 2
I'm surprised at all the conjecture with only a couple contributors suggesting a weather balloon. During a 34-year airline career I have spotted three or four weather balloons zipping by within a few feet of the cockpit (and these were just the ones I happened to see).

In no case were we advised by ATC, even though at cruise speed they could have certainly crashed through the cockpit windows.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
"During a 34-year airline career I have spotted three or four weather balloons zipping by within a few feet of the cockpit (and these were just the ones I happened to see)."
- some people speak from personal experience, others not so much.

"I'm surprised at the conjecture." Really?? LOL

"only a couple suggesting a weather balloon." Most don't get a chance to sit on the flight deck, especially in motion at altitude. The number of those having been lucky enough to have seen multiple weather balloons zipping by, is even fewer.

1. Anytime you miss hitting something that you don't see until it is zipping past your aircraft IS lucky.

2. Seems pilots spend less time looking out their windows vs. looking at their gauges, screens, controls, iPads, etc. Old timers may be used to actually looking out the window and/or actually flying the plane (vs. Directing the computer to flying the plane.)

3. With all the planes and weather balloons in the sky, it is actually surprising that there aren't more weather balloon strikes. Is it the aerodynamic design of planes that helps to deflect these airborne objects and not have them crash through cockpit windows regularly?

How unlucky does one have to be, to be the controls when striking such an object dead-on with the nose cone of the plane? A few inches in any direction seems more likely to result in a deflection or complete miss. "Woah, did you see that? It zipped right by."