The one-metre wide hole smashed into an aeroplane's nose by an ALBATROSS

Posted on 9:35 AM by Sameer Shah

A Japanese Coastguard patrol aeroplane came close to disaster when it was hit by an albatross.

The bird smashed a one-metre wide hole into the Bombardier DHC8-315's nose as it flew at just 300 metres over the East China Sea on Wednesday afternoon.

Remarkably the pilot did not feel the need to perform an emergency landing - despite the dead bird being stuck - and continued for another hour to his destination in Ishigaki, in the Okinawa Prefecture.

None of the onboard nine crew members, who were on the three-hour flight from Naha, were hurt.

The country's transport ministry has now launched an investigation to look into the incident.

And it said it was setting up radar equipment at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in April to help track flocks of birds which would help guide aircraft out of their way.

It will be the first such project in Japan.Bird strikes are on the rise at the nation's busiest airport despite daily efforts by ground staff to disperse birds when they are spotted near flight paths.

It is also a common problem across the world.

Last year passengers onboard a U.S. JetBlue flight from JFK to Aruba had to return to the airport after a 'very big bird', believed to be a turkey, was sucked into the Airbus A320's engine.

'Suddenly the plane smelled like chicken. I thought, Wow they have hot food on this plane,' passenger Gina Vicinanza, 50, told The New York Post.

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