Anything from a bird in flight to a loose bolt on the runway can cause foreign object damage (FOD) to an aircraft
engine. Here's how to reduce the risk.
FOD happens when a foreign object impacts the engine, or another component of the aircraft while the plane is in
A foreign object can be almost anything: a bird or a cloud of volcanic ash encountered while in the air, or even a
piece of equipment, a tool, a vehicle, or another item left behind on an airfield.
Did you hear about the recent story of a Chinese passenger who threw coins into aircraft plane for luck? This
incident forced nearly 150 passengers to be evacuated, and China Southern maintenance to conduct a full exam of the
Seemingly harmless everyday objects like coins, buttons, or bolts, can also cause FOD.
When a foreign object contacts the aircraft, it might do no harm at all—but it can also damage the tires,
interfere with the operation of various mechanisms, or be sucked into an engine, where it can cause impact damage or
abrasion to the fan blades or to the leading edges of compressor blades and vanes. In a highly sensitive environment
like an aircraft engine, even a minor abnormality can significantly impede operation.