• Air China Cargo flight CA1040 experienced a bird strike shortly after departure from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, causing the aircraft to return to Amsterdam.
  • The extent of the damage to the engine is unknown, but the aircraft remains on the ground in Amsterdam more than 24 hours after the incident.
  • Air China Cargo operates three Boeing 747-400Fs and nine 777Fs, with plans to receive converted freight aircraft beginning in 2025.

Earlier this week, a Boeing 747 belonging to Air China Cargo returned to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) following a bird strike shortly after departure. The incident occurred on Air China Cargo flight CA1040 from Amsterdam to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) on July 30th.

Bird strike on departure

The Boeing 747-400F registered as B-2476, had arrived in Amsterdam that morning, operating a cargo service from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU). The aircraft departed from runway 24 at Amsterdam Schiphol at 14:38, almost one hour behind schedule, for what would typically be a 10-hour overnight journey back to the east coast of China.

Air China Cargo Boeing 747
Photo: Kevin Hackert/Shutterstock

After reaching 7,000 ft, the flight crew leveled out, reporting a bird strike in engine number 3 - the inboard engine on the aircraft's right-hand side. The decision was made to return to Amsterdam, and the aircraft remained at 7,000 ft for around eight minutes before climbing to 13,000 ft to circle and dump fuel off the coast of the Netherlands. Approximately one hour and 40 minutes after departure, and following a 20-minute descent, the 747 touched down safely on runway 27.

The extent of the damage to the engine is unknown, although according to data from, B-2476 remains on the ground in Amsterdam more than 24 hours after the incident. The flight-tracking website also clearly shows the aircraft's unplanned adventure in the skies above the Netherlands:

How often do aircraft experience bird strikes? Find out how common incidents such as this are with this report from the Simple Flying team.

Air China Cargo and the Boeing 747

Data from shows that B-2476 is one of three Boeing 747-400Fs in Air China Cargo's fleet. Meanwhile, the carrier's parent company, Air China, operates three passenger 747-400s and seven 747-8s, which carry 344 and 365 passengers, respectively.

B-2476 was delivered new to Air China Cargo in April 2006, making it over 17 years old. It completed over 10,000 flights in that time, clocking up over 53,000 flight hours. The aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines.

Air China Cargo Boeing 777F
Photo: Bjoern Wylezich | Shutterstock

From its two main hubs at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Air China Cargo operates to seven other European destinations in addition to Amsterdam. These include Frankfurt (FRA), Zaragoza (ZAZ), and Copenhagen (CPH). The carrier also serves five cities in the US, including Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), and New York (JFK).

Air China Cargo's 12-strong fleet comprises three Boeing 747-400Fs and nine 777Fs. The carrier is also due to receive up to eight Airbus A330-200P2Fs from Air China, with deliveries of the converted freight aircraft beginning in 2025.

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Have you been on a flight that has suffered a bird strike? Which route and airline were you traveling on? Did your flight continue as normal? Share your experiences by commenting below.

Sources: The Aviation Herald,,