According to the FAA, over 14,000 bird strikes happen every year at US airports. Most of the time they’re inconsequential, occasionally they can cause a lot of damage, but things could have been especially catastrophic on Monday local time when a bird strike caused an A-10C Thunderbolt II to accidentally release three bombs over Florida. Thankfully, they were just dummies designed for training.
How exactly the bird strike caused the Thunderbolt II to release part of its payload is unknown, but the munition was a trio of 11kg BDU-33 training bombs which are designed to simulate 227kg M1a-82 bombs, which would have resulted in a much different ending to this incident.
Due to the unplanned release (and the lack of explosion upon impact) the Air Force isn’t sure of the exact location of where the training bombs landed, but officials suspect they’re “in the general vicinity of 2 kilometers west of Highway 129 near Suwannee Springs”.
The base is also warning the public not to handle the bombs if found, because while inert, they are equipped with a small pyrotechnic charge and could still be dangerous. If located, the public is being asked to contact the 23d Wing Command Post with details of the exact location, and to ensure others don’t approach the munitions until they’re recovered.