NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a new test that would require engine makers prove their engines can sustain strikes from medium-sized birds while climbing or descending.
That’s according to a draft notice of the proposed rule.
The proposal comes nine years after the “Miracle on the Hudson” landing when a U.S. Airways plane carrying 155 people encountered a flock of Canadian geese upon takeoff. Birds were sucked into both engines, causing them to fail. However, the pilot, Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger, was able to land the plan safely on the Hudson River.
Currently, engines are only tested at 100 percent takeoff power or thrust, which is ideal for testing fan blades, but does not adequately simulate lower fan speeds used during climb and descent.
A bird strike can be more damaging at times of climb or descent.
The FAA estimates that the annual cost of the rule would be $4 million, or $52 million over 27 years. The rule-making process can take 24 months or longer.
In 2016,that the NTSB had made 35 recommendations to improve safety after the incident – but only two or three had been adopted by the industry and mandated by the FAA.
“The bottom line ultimately is that the airlines in a very cost-competitive industry are reluctant to take on additional safety measures that they view as a burden or an additional cost,” Sullenberger said at the time.