ITA Airbus A320neo left with crushed nose following bird strike after takeoff

Airbus A320neo ITA

An ITA Italia Trasporto Aereo Airbus A320neo passenger aircraft was left with an impacted nose after suffering a bird strike shortly after takeoff.  

The ITA Airbus A320neo, registered EI-HOC, departed Rome Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport (FCO) just before 09:00 on March 7, 2024, and was due to arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) around two and half hours later. 

As flight FL340 began to climb following takeoff the bird struck the aircraft’s nose cone but without any visible problems the flight crew continued the flight.  

However, around 20 minutes later the decision was taken to return to Rome, and the aircraft eventually landed 45 minutes after it took off. 

A photo of the damaged aircraft was shared on social media which showed the nose indented due to the force inflicted by the bird strike. 

The passengers onboard the flight were deplaned and a replacement Airbus A320-200 was provided to complete the journey to Amsterdam.  

The damaged Airbus A320neo, which was less than a year old, was leased to ITA by AerCap. 

According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) bird strikes cause commercial airlines “annual damages in the millions.” 

“Many pilots are not aware that a collision with a soft-feathered bird can lead to serious damage; such as a destroyed windshield that can injure the pilots, clogged air intakes, a broken pitot tube, damaged brake lines, holes or dents in the fuselage or wings, or in the case of helicopters; damaged blades,” the EASA said.  

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