Science: Birds in the Air

At Boston's Logan Airport on day last June, a Lockheed F-94B jet fighter blew apart during takeoff. Flight mechanics were baffled until, in the engine wreckage, they found the charred carcass of a seagull. Sucked into the left air scoop as the fighter rose from the runway, the gull's body broke a fuel line, causing an excess amount of gasoline to spurt into the engine.

Similar accidents caused by birds have been plaguing airmen for years. Recently, the Air Force ordered its Flight Safety Research Section to make a nationwide survey of the problem and...

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