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This is what happens when a bird blasts into a plane

Technically Incorrect: An Egyptair 737 lands safely at London's Heathrow Airport, but with a gaping hole in its nose.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Not a good look.

Paul Clare/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Birds are such gentle things.

When we see a flock of them flying in perfect formation across the sky, we wonder: "Why can't humans find that sort of harmony?"

For pilots, however, birds can be trouble.

Your plane is going quickly. They might not see you coming soon enough. You might not see them either.

They might fly into your engine. Or, as happened to an Egyptair 737-866 approaching London's Heathrow airport on Friday, they might smack straight into the nose of your plane.

Images posted to Twitter by Heathrow worker Paul Clare show a vast gaping hole in the nose of the plane, with blood adorning the edges.

Egyptair didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, Amir Hashim, a senior procurement specialist for the company, posted other images of the nose cone on Facebook and said the plane would be repaired.

The Telegraph reported that the plane landed safely, with no ill-effects to the 70 passengers on board. It took off again on Saturday, after maintenance work.

Birds can cause considerable structural damage to plane without necessarily having dangerous effects.

If you want to see how quickly a bird can smack into a plane, take a look at what the pilot of a small plane filmed when one flew straight into his windshield as he was going 170 mph.

It isn't just bird strikes that can impact a plane's structure.

Last year, an Icelandair flight was struck by lightning on its way from Reykjavik to Denver. The nose cone was blown out, but the plane flew safely to its destination. The pilots had no idea they were flying with a hole in their nose.

The pilots can't do much about these sorts of incidents. They have to have faith in the plane's design.

I wonder, though, what passengers on the Eqyptair flight might have thought when they looked back at the plane from which they'd just disembarked.