Thursday, January 29, 2009

It's a bird, it's a plane...


by blogger hcn

The museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is home to the Feather Identification Lab which collects lefover bird remains from plane crashes. A feather found in the engine of recently crashed US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River was sent to the lab to attempt to identify the bird that is believed to have caused the plane to go down. The feather will be compared to thousands in their library and DNA analysis done to attempt to determine the species. They hope to identify the species of bird and possibly how many birds were involved.

One key to reducing bird strikes is to move the species causing the problem, she said. That might mean mowing a certain area, or filling in a pond frequented by a species of duck...

...And for high-profile crashes, identification both by feather structure and by DNA will be performed. A bird strike over the Bronx reported by the pilot minutes after Flight 1549 took off from La Guardia Airport may have caused both engines to fail, forcing the emergency splash into the Hudson.

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