Owls have long had a reputation for being wise. The myth dates all the way back to the ancient Greek goddess Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom, who was represented or accompanied by an owl. It is also thought that their large, all-seeing eyes and solemn face have also contributed to their sagacious aura, although in India it is actually quite the opposite and they are considered a symbol of foolishness, ugliness and misfortune.
This owl, while seemingly not very wise, is definitely not without fortune! During pre-flight checks on a Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 at Melbourne Airport, engineers came across the bird nestled cozily inside one of the engines, blissfully unaware of the fate that could’ve befallen him. This is a great example of the importance of pre-flight checks!
“The cute little guy was found during our pre-flight checks which is a good reminder of why we do them,” Virgin Australia explained. “Our team of engineers rescued it and it was checked out before being safely released back into the wild.”
Birds and aviation don’t exactly get along, with our giant planes giving any unfortunate birds sharing the skies nearby no chance of surviving an impact.
Bird strikes are actually a common occurrence and happen pretty much every day, and while most of the strikes happen without consequence (except to the birds of course), they can result in damage to the aircraft in a small percentage of cases. Sometimes bird strikes can even result in fatal accidents, 229 lives have been lost since 1988 due to planes and birds tangling with each other. Remember the US Airways plane that was heroically landed on the Hudson River in 2009? It was brought down by a double engine failure caused by multiple bird strikes.
Although we do love our feathered friends dearly, the further that they are kept away from us while we try to fly, the better for everyone involved!