On a wing and a prayer: pigeon shows stern stuff as it clings onto a plane during 177mph take-off

A determined pigeon stood his ground on the wing of a plane as the aircraft sped up for a 177mph takeoff.

A plane was getting ready to take off in London when a passenger noticed a brave pigeon sitting on top of the plane’s engine.

Footage of the daring moment shows the insistent bird digging his heels in and refusing to move from the wing as the aircraft picks up speed.

A brave pigeon clung onto the wing of a plane during a 177mph takeoff from London

The tiny bird dug his heels in as strong strong winds threatened to push him off the aircraft

A brave pigeon clung onto the wing of a plane during a 177mph takeoff from London, digging his heels in as the strong winds threatened to push him off the aircraft

The tiny pigeon stood calmly on the wing, much to the shock of the passenger, widening his stance to stop himself from being thrown from the wing.

The determined bird pushes against the strong winds as the plane speeds up for the 177mph takeoff.

But the pigeon does not manage to hitch a ride with the plane, as he flies backwards when the wind gets the better of him.

The passenger who recorded the footage said the pigeon seemed unharmed from his tumble off the aircraft.

The surprised passenger said: ‘In the video (which I can’t believe I caught on camera) a pigeon can be seen clinging onto the plane on takeoff! 

‘I was surprised it managed to cling on for as long as it did, to be honest! 

The bizarre moment was caught on camera during a takeoff from London last summer, on August 26, 2019

The strong wind eventually pushed the bird from the wing of the plane, but a passenger said the bird was unharmed

Despite the pigeon’s determination, the strong wind pushed him from the aircraft’s wing, but the passenger who filmed the footage said the bird was unharmed from the fall

‘I thought it was going to be there with us the whole flight! 

‘The pigeon was unharmed from what I could tell, it just took a bit of a tumble when the wind speed became too much!’

Bird strikes, when an animal collides with a plane, are common at low altitudes and during takeoff and landing.

But bird strikes are rarely dangerous, although they can damage parts of the aircraft, and are extremely common, according to BALPA.

Planes are designed and tested to withstand strikes and a bird getting caught in the engine during flight rarely causes significant damage.

Some airports even use bird cannons, a sound-emitting device to frighten and confuse birds, to deter wildlife.

The video was taken last summer, on August 26, 2019.

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