The flight – operated by aptly-named budget airline Flybe – had just taken off from Southampton for Dublin when the insect flew into the instrument. The pilots turned the plane around and landed without difficulty after realising there was a technical issue.

Insects, like bird strikes, can potentially cause major problems for aircraft. Last year a of obscured the cockpit windows of a domestic flight in the United States, and then started to get sucked into the aircraft’s engines. The aircraft landed safely, but passengers told local media the plane had been filled with a burning smell.

And wasps were blamed for causing the deaths of 189 people on board a Boeing 757 which crashed after taking off from the Dominican Republic in February 1996. It was subsequently discovered that the pitot tube – which measures the plane’s speed – had become blocked by a wasps’ nest. Confused by the incorrect airspeed readings, the pilot accidentally stalled the┬áplane before it went into a spin and crashed in the sea.

 

 

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