It used to be the only bird that NBA players feared was named Larry.
That may change after what the Oklahoma City Thunder experienced early Saturday morning.
The team’s charter flight to Chicago apparently encountered a bird during descent that crushed the nose of the plane. Several players posted pictures after a safe landing and, man, they really aren’t the type of thing that will make you feel great about flying in the future.
(Also, if you think those pictures are bad, you should probably see the bird.)
But it doesn’t sound like the pilots or the team had too much worry. A team official told ESPN’s Royce Young that the flight was “a little rough, but nothing extreme or out of the ordinary.”
Delta released a statement early Saturday morning to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman.
“Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating. Safety is Delta’s top priority.”
If you do an internet search for this type of crash, you’ll find they’re not uncommon because the nose of the plane is constructed from softer materials than the rest of the plane.
After a similar incident on a Turkish Airlines flight in 2015, one of the company’s spokespeople explained the phenomenon to Mashable.
The nose cone “of a plane is being constructed by soft materials (composit) to minimalize the impact of such hits. Therefore, such standard/normal deformation occurs as a natural result of such incidents,” Dr. Ali Genc, Turkish Airlines senior vice president of media relations, said in an emailed statement.
“The critical bird hits in aviation [are] the ones that occur on the engine area,” Genc said. “Any other area of the aircraft than the engine area, such as [the nose cone], wings, hull and etc. are not [at] risk by bird hit.”
The Thunder lost to the Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Friday night and will play the Bulls in Chicago on Saturday.
30000 feet in the air.
Flying to chicago.
What caused this? pic.twitter.com/uEVrEm7noi