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Swarm of bees moves in as aircraft prepares to take off

July 10, 2015 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A large swarm of bees has struck an A319 passenger plane as it taxied to takeoff position at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow.

The flight was bound for St Petersburg. Passengers said thousands of bees attached themselves to the wing and others crawled over the windows.

In a big bonus for passengers, the bees didn’t get inside the aircraft.

Bees swarm of plane at Moscow Airport

Bees swarm of plane at Moscow Airport

Two ambulances rushed to the plane in case the bees invaded the cabin or cockpit, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.

Reports from Russia say airport staff “efficiently and quickly” removed the bees from the plane’s fuselage. The report did not go into detais, but smoke is sometimes used to move bees on or make them drowsy for collection.

The flight was delayed by about an hour.

Bees sometimes cause problems for flights. Just last month, a regional flight turned back to Dublin after a bee became lodged in one of the aircraft’s instruments, making airspeed readings unreliable.

The bee struck 10 minutes into the flight to the southern English port city of Southampton. The airline concerned is Flybe (pronounced Fly-bee), Europe’s largest regional carrier.

Engineers on the ground found a bee firmly stuck in a pitot tube – a vital measuring instrument on the outside of the plane.

Bees on plane window

Bees on plane window

The bee delayed the Flybe flight for about two hours.

“Upon examination, maintenance found a bee lodged into an item of instrumentation on the outside of the aircraft,” Flybe stated.

In April 2015 a vast swarm of bees grounded a Minnesota-bound Allegiant airlines flight, swarming over the windscreens and then getting sucked into the plane’s engines.

Written by Peter Needham

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