What the hell hit this plane?

Yes, but typically the nosecone on a jetliner is made of very thin stuff with no structural ribbing. My vote is on the birdstrike theory.

What happened to that ballon guy?

No, it’s not strong because it doesn’t need to be. Typically the nose will be fiberglass (for the radar) or aluminum. The strongest part of an airplane is the wing/fuselage intersection.

That nose cone is made out of fiberglass - not aluminum. It’s actually called a radome (radar dome). It houses the plane’s radar antenna, which is why it is fiberglass. Aluminum would mess with the reception.

Personally, I would guess bird strike. But, it’d have to be a pretty good sized bird and be unlucky enough to hit dead center of the radome to dent it rather than just glancing off to the side.

ETA - yeah - what he said.

He probably hit an unoccupied and parked airplane. He got out and looked, and upon seeing nobody was in the other vehicle he was going to just leave, but he saw some nearby witnesses, so he left a note: “Dear pilot, the people watching me think I’m leaving my contact information…”

It could if the relevant forces were large enough. Perhaps the impact happened so quickly that the poor thing had no time to bleed? My guess would be a Turkey Vulture, which are pretty big.

Wait, so, Jesse Ventura hit the plane?

Definitely looks like a bird strike to me.

Here is similar damage to a C-141. This one is more obvious since it left feathers behind.

This one has similar damage, but with more of the blood and guts that people seem to expect:

Same plane as above, showing what the inside of the nose cone looks like (with the dead bird hanging in it):

Any pilots want to comment on whether the impact should have been felt in flight?

As for the lack of bird remnant, what was the weather like when the plane landed? Rain could have washed off any blood and feathers.

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Well, there goes that pair of underwear! :smiley:

Goddammit, I keep telling those guys to thaw the chickens.

http ://oopslist.com/C-141bird1.jpg

(link broken since it can’t be hotlinked)

That looks like the same type of damage to me. They might find feathers once they open up the radome.

bird strike. If you’ve ever hit a grasshopper at 120 mph in a small plane you’d believe that a large bird would do that at higher speeds. It’s just rare that an airliner nails a bird head-on. A Learjet pilot was killed in Cincinnati in 1981 by a bird strike through the windscreen.

Gordon Jump nonwithstanding, turkeys can fly.

Rather than penetrating the radome as in the case of the C-141 and the other passenger plane, I think this one glanced off but consequently left a much larger dent.

According to CNN it occurred during flight which would make it most likely a bird.

Instead of a beak that was commin’, it might have hit an ass that was goin’.

[Bill Engvall] Santa was making one last run! [/BE]

I thought I heard on the news last night that it happened at 18,000 feet, so they determined that it could not be a bird?