A Japanese Coast Guard plane hit an albatross while flying over the South China Sea last week. The long-winged ocean bird smashed a fairly sizeable hole in the plane's nosecone, but the plane managed to continue flying for another hour before safely landing.

An incident like this is called a bird stike or BASH (Seriously! It's a Bird-Aircraft Strike Hazard), and it's not that uncommon for a plane to hit a bird. It happens thousands of times a year, always killing the birds involved, sometimes causing damage to the plane, but rarely ever leading to a crash.


Photo Credit: Japan Coast Guard

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