Investigators are to strip down the engines of a Ryanair Boeing 737-800 next week to examine the extent of damage caused when the jet struck birds on approach to Rome Ciampino three months ago.

As many as 90 starlings hit the aircraft as it prepared to land on 10 November, says the Italian investigation authority Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo.

There is particular interest in the inquiry, it says, because both CFM International CFM56 engines were struck and the incident bears "similarity" with the dual loss of thrust experienced by the US Airways Airbus A320 which hit birds before ditching in New York's Hudson River.

ryanair 737 bent

Both the Ryanair 737 and the US A320 were fitted with CFM56s. ANSV says the tear-down of the 737's powerplants will take place at the GE Aviation's UK facilities in Cardiff. Some 20 personnel connected with the investigation will be in attendance.

"The aim is to verify in detail the damage suffered by both engines, in order to understand better the engines' performance following the birds' ingestion," says ANSV.

"Being the same engines involved in both events, the tear-down activity is of utmost importance, in order to gather data to see whether any commonality may exist between the two events."

All 172 passengers and crew survived the hard landing which followed the Ciampino bird-strike but the 737 was badly damaged.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news