when a bird hits a plane

Wildlife management edit An

Airport wildlife managers have access to a variety of techniques, but no single technique will be effective in all situations or with all species. There are two main types of wildlife management in airport environments: non-lethal and lethal. Using a combination of lethal and non-lethal techniques yields the best airfield wildlife management plan.

Relocation, habitat modification, exclusion, and the use of tactile, visual, auditory, or chemical repellents are additional categories of non-lethal management.

Food abundance is one of the main reasons wildlife can be found in airports. Food options at airports can be reduced in availability or eliminated altogether. Turfgrass is one of the most plentiful food sources at airports. This grass is planted for aesthetic reasons as well as to minimize runoff, manage erosion, absorb jet wash, and permit emergency vehicles to pass. [28] Nevertheless, certain bird species—most notably the Canada goose (Branta canadensis)—prefers to eat turfgrass, which presents a significant risk to airplane safety. Airport turf should be planted with a species of grass that geese dislike, such as g. St. Augustine grass) and ought to be cultivated so as to lessen its allure for other animals, like small rodents and raptors. It is advised to mow and fertilize turfgrass on a regular basis to keep it between seven and fourteen inches high. [30].

Another significant factor luring wildlife to the vicinity of airports is wetlands. They are especially dangerous because they draw waterfowl, which can seriously harm airplanes. Airports that have a lot of impermeable surfaces must use techniques to collect runoff and slow the flow of water. These best management practices often involve temporarily ponding runoff. If it is not possible to incorporate subsurface flow wetlands or other inaccessible water into the current runoff control systems, wire grids and floating covers should be used to cover exposed water, as well as frequent drawdowns. [32] Covers and wire grid installation shouldn’t impede emergency services

While it is nearly impossible to completely remove birds and other flying animals from the airport environment, deer and other mammals, which make up a small portion of wildlife strikes, can be excluded. The most efficient fences are three meters high and constructed of woven or chain link with barbed wire outriggers. These fences prevent unauthorized persons from entering the airport when they are utilized as a perimeter barrier. [33] Realistically, every fence must have gates. When gates are left open, animals like deer can enter the airport. 15 foot (4. Cattle guards extending six meters have been demonstrated to be successful in keeping deer away up to 2098% of the time. [34].

Birds are frequently drawn to hangars with open superstructures to nest and roost in Hangar doors are frequently left open to improve airflow, particularly at night. Hangar birds are close to the airfield, and their droppings pose a health and environmental risk. In order to prevent birds from accessing the rafters where they roost and nest, netting is frequently installed across a hangar’s superstructure. This allows the doors to stay open for airflow and aircraft movements. Although they can be used, door netting and strip curtains can also be misused (e g. by the hangar workers, who fastened the strips to the door’s side. [30][29].

Airport wildlife management has employed a range of visual repellent and harassment tactics. These consist of employing dogs and raptors, effigies, landing lights, and lasers. Predatory birds have proven to be highly successful when deployed in landfills with substantial feeding gull populations. [35] Dogs have also been successfully employed at airfields as visual deterrents and as a means of harassing birds. [28] When releasing animals into the airport environment, airport wildlife managers need to weigh the risks involved. When not in use, both dogs and birds of prey need to be looked after and observed by a handler. Airport wildlife managers must consider the economics of these methods. [33].

Dispersal of gulls and vultures has been successful when using the combined forces of predators and conspecifics. Conspecific effigies are frequently positioned in odd ways that allow them to freely move with the wind. When the obtrusive birds have alternatives, strategies have been shown to be most successful (e g. other forage, loafing, and roosting areas) available. Time to habituation varies. [36][28].

Several bird species have been successfully dispersed using lasers. However, because some species will only respond to specific wavelengths, lasers are species-specific. Lasers’ effectiveness is limited during the daytime hours because they become more effective as ambient light levels decrease. Some species show a very short time to habituation. When deciding whether or not to use lasers on airfields, aircrews’ safety must be considered. [38] To reduce the possibility of the laser beam shining directly at airplanes and the air traffic control tower, Southampton Airport uses a laser device that turns off the laser after a predetermined elevation. [39].

Agricultural and aviation settings both frequently employ auditory repellents. Airports regularly use devices like bioacoustics, pyrotechnics, and propane exploders (cannons). The noise produced by propane exploders can reach about 130 dB. [40] They can be remotely controlled, have a motion sensor, or be programmed to fire at predetermined intervals. Because propane cannons are stationary and frequently predictable, wildlife quickly adapts to them. Propane exploders can be made more effective by using lethal control. Wireless specialized launcher mounted in an airport vehicle.

A screamer or an exploding shell are two common pyrotechnic devices used to scare birds away from runways. Typically fired from a wireless specialized launcher, a flare pistol, or a 12 gauge shotgun, they can be aimed to enable control personnel to “steer” the harassed species. Birds show varying degrees of habituation to pyrotechnics. Research has indicated that the application of lethal reinforcement to pyrotechnic harassment has increased. [41] Screamer type cartridges pose a risk of foreign object damage and need to be picked up because they are still intact at the end of their flight, unlike exploding shells that self-destruct. The use of pyrotechnics is considered “take” by the U. S. If there could be an impact on federally threatened or endangered species, USFWS and Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) must be consulted. Because they can catch fire, fireworks should only be used sparingly in dry environments. [29][37].

It is common practice to use bioacoustics, which involves playing predator or conspecific distress calls to frighten animals. This method relies on the animals evolutionary danger response. [37] One drawback is that birds may rapidly get accustomed to bioacoustics because they are species-specific. As a result, they shouldn’t be the main method of control. [30][29].

Operators at Gloucestershire Airport in England claimed in 2012 that American-Swiss singer Tina Turner’s songs scared birds away from the airport’s runways more effectively than animal sounds. [42].

Sharpened spikes to deter perching and loafing are commonly used. Generally, large birds require different applications than small birds do. [28].

Only two chemical repellents—methyl anthranilate and anthraquinone—are authorized for use in the US. One primary repellent that is reflexive and doesn’t require learning is methyl anthranilate, which causes an instantaneous unpleasant sensation. Therefore, it works best for migratory bird populations. [28] At Homestead Air Reserve Station, methyl anthranilate has been used to quickly scatter birds from flight lines. [43] The laxative effect of anthraquinone, a secondary repellent, is gradual. For this reason, it works best on resident populations of wildlife, which have had time to develop an aversive response. [28][44].

Relocating raptors from airports is frequently regarded by both the public and biologists as being preferable to lethal control methods. Capturing and moving species covered by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 presents complicated legal challenges. The necessary permits must be obtained prior to capture, and consideration must be given to the high death rates and the risk of disease transmission associated with relocation. Between 2008 and 2010, U. S. Following several unsuccessful attempts at harassment, 606 red-tailed hawks were relocated from US airports by Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services personnel. The percentage of these hawks that returned was 6%, and the mortality rate for these hawks that relocated was never established. [28].

There are two types of lethal wildlife control on airports: population control and the reinforcement of other non-lethal techniques.

The idea behind propane exploders, pyrotechnics, and effigies is that the species being dispersed is thought to be in immediate danger. In the beginning, animals will react dangerously to the sight of an effigy placed in an unusual location or the sound of fireworks or bursts. The culling of small numbers of wildlife in the presence of conspecifics can restore the danger response in wildlife that has become accustomed to non-lethal methods. [29][28].

Sometimes it takes lethal wildlife control to keep a species’ population under control. This control can be localized or regional. Controlling species that live on the airfield, like deer that have gotten past the perimeter fence, is frequently accomplished through localized population control. Sharpshooting would be very useful in this situation, as it is at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. [28].

Certain species that cannot be kept out of the airport environment have been subjected to regional population control. Between 1979 and 1992, a colony of laughing gulls nesting at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge caused 98–315 bird strikes annually at the nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Even with an active bird management program in place at JFK, birds were still able to overfly the airport to other feeding sites and continued to feed there instead of lazing around. U. S. Personnel from the Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services started shooting any gulls that passed over the airport because they thought the birds would eventually change their flight patterns. In a span of two years, they shot 28,352% of the gull population (roughly half of the population at Jamaica Bay and 5% of the population nationwide per year). Strikes with laughing gulls decreased by 89% by 1992. Nevertheless, the population decline was more responsible for this than the gulls’ altered flight pattern. [45][46][28].

History edit

Since 1988, bird strikes have killed over 200 people worldwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and are estimated to cost US aviation 400 million dollars annually. [56] The Central Science Laboratory in the United Kingdom calculated[9] that, on a global scale, bird strikes cost airlines about $1. 2 billion annually. This covers the expense of repairs as well as lost income while the damaged aircraft is not in use. The US Air Force reported 4,300 bird strikes in 2003, while US civil aircraft reported 5,900.

Orville Wright recorded the first bird strike in 1905. According to the Wright brothers diaries, “Orville [. flew four full circles at a height of 4,751 meters in 4 minutes and 45 seconds. Twice passed over the fence into Beards cornfield. chased a flock of birds for two rounds, killing one that crashed onto the upper surface and eventually toppled off while making a sudden turn. “[5].

When aero-pioneer Calbraith Rodgers collided with a gull that became stuck in his aircraft control cables in 1912, it was the first known bird strike fatality. He drowned after being pinned beneath the debris after crashing near Long Beach, California. [3][59] A.

On October 4, 1960, a Lockheed L-188 Electra, operating as Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 out of Boston, struck a flock of common starlings during takeoff, resulting in damage to all four engines and the largest death toll directly related to avian strikes. Shortly after takeoff, the plane crashed into Boston Harbor, killing 62 of the 72 occupants. [60] The FAA then created minimum bird ingestion guidelines for jet engines.

Theodore Freeman, a NASA astronaut, perished in 1964 when a goose broke through the plexiglass cockpit canopy of his Northrop T-38 Talon. The engines swallowed shards of plexiglass, causing a deadly crash. [61].

35 people were killed when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604 crashed in 1988 after pigeons were sucked into both engines during takeoff. [63].

When a Dassault Falcon 20 sucked lapwings into an engine during an emergency landing attempt at Paris-Le Bourget Airport in 1995, the engine failed and the fuselage caught fire, killing all ten occupants. [64].

On September 22, 1995, a U. S. Shortly after taking off from Elmendorf AFB, an Air Force Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft (callsign Yukla 27, serial number 77-0354) crashed. During takeoff, the aircraft’s port side engines consumed several Canada geese, causing them to lose power. It crashed about two miles (3. 2 km) from the runway, resulting in the deaths of all 24 crew members. [65].

During takeoff at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on November 28, 2004, KLM Flight 1673, a Boeing 737-400, struck a bird with its nose landing gear. After reporting the occurrence to air traffic control, the landing gear was raised as usual, and the aircraft carried on as usual, arriving at its destination. When the aircraft landed at Barcelona International Airport, it began to veer to the left of the runway centerline. The aircraft could not be kept on the runway even with the crew using the nose wheel steering tiller, braking, and right rudder. The jet passed over a patch of soft sand after veering off the runway’s paved portion at roughly 100 knots. Just before the aircraft came to a stop perched over the edge of a drainage canal, the nose landing gear leg collapsed and the left main landing gear leg separated from its fittings. 140 passengers and 6 crew members were safely evacuated, but the aircraft had to be written off. It was found that the collision with the bird had broken a cable in the nose wheel steering system. The incorrect application of grease during routine maintenance resulted in severe wear of the cable, which contributed to the snapped cable. [66].

Shortly after liftoff on July 26, 2005, during the launch of STS-114, the Space Shuttle Discovery struck a vulture. The space shuttle escaped unharmed, but the vulture died in the collision. [67][68].

A bird strike occurred in April 2007 on a Thomsonfly Boeing 757 traveling from Manchester Airport to Lanzarote Airport when at least one bird—possibly a crow—was swallowed by the starboard engine. After some time, the aircraft returned to Manchester Airport without incident. Two plane spotters on different sides of the airport recorded the incident, and a plane spotters radio picked up the emergency calls. [60].

Ryanair Flight 4102 from Frankfurt to Rome had to make an emergency landing at Ciampino Airport on November 10, 2008, as both engines failed due to multiple bird strikes. Following touchdown, the aircraft momentarily veered off the runway due to the collapse of the left main landing gear. Passengers and crew were evacuated through the starboard emergency exits. [69].

A red-tailed hawk was struck by a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter in Louisiana on January 4, 2009. The hawk hit the helicopter just above the windscreen. Due to the impact, the engine fire suppression control handles had to be activated, which delayed the throttles and resulted in the engines losing power. In the ensuing crash, eight of the nine people on board perished; the passenger who survived was gravely hurt. [70].

After losing both of its turbines, US Airways Flight 1549 from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft ran into a flock of geese at an altitude of approximately 3,200 feet (980 meters), which resulted in an engine failure. Following a successful water landing, all 150 passengers and 5 crew members were safely evacuated. [71] The NTSB released its final report on the incident on May 28, 2010. [72].

After taking off from Moscow-Zhukovsky, Ural Airlines Flight 178 to Simferopol, Crimea, suffered a bird strike on August 15, 2019, and crashed into a cornfield five kilometers from the airport. 74 people were injured, all with minor injuries. [73].

The Italian Frecce Tricolori Aermacchi MB-339 squadron left Turin Airport on September 16, 2023, for an airshow. Shortly after takeoff, one jet abruptly lost engine power—possibly as a result of a bird strike—and crashed. The pilot was hospitalized for burn injuries after ejecting prior to the ground impact. Three other people were taken to the hospital with burns after the crash and the ensuing fireball, and a five-year-old girl lost her life. [74].

Flight path edit

Pilots should not take off or land in the presence of wildlife and should avoid migratory routes,[47] wildlife reserves, estuaries and other sites where birds may congregate. When operating in the presence of bird flocks, pilots should seek to climb above 3,000 feet (910 m) as rapidly as possible as most bird strikes occur below that altitude. Additionally, pilots should slow down their aircraft when confronted with birds. The energy that must be dissipated in the collision is approximately the relative kinetic energy (Ek{displaystyle E_{k}}{displaystyle E_{k}} ) of the bird, defined by the equation Ek=12mv2{displaystyle E_{k}={frac {1}{2}}mv^{2}}{displaystyle E_{k}={frac {1}{2}}mv^{2}} where m{displaystyle m}{displaystyle m} is the mass of the bird and v{displaystyle v}{displaystyle v} is the relative velocity (the difference of the velocities of the bird and the plane, resulting in a lower absolute value if they are flying in the same direction and higher absolute value if they are flying in opposite directions). Therefore, the speed of the aircraft is much more important than the size of the bird when it comes to reducing energy transfer in a collision. The same can be said for jet engines: the slower the rotation of the engine, the less energy which will be imparted onto the engine at collision.

The bird’s body density is another factor that affects how much damage is done. [48].

The Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS) of the United States Air Force (USAF) provides current bird hazard conditions for published military low-level routes, ranges, and military operating areas (MOAs) based on near-real-time data from the National Weather Services’ NEXRAD system. Furthermore, when activity is scheduled outside of the 24-hour window, AHAS defaults to the Bird Avoidance Model (BAM) for planning purposes. This is done by combining weather forecast data with the BAM to predict soaring bird activity within the next 24 hours. Based on several years’ worth of bird distribution data from the Breeding Bird Survey, the Christmas Bird Count, and data from National Wildlife Refuges, the BAM is a static historical hazard model. Golf courses and landfills are examples of potentially dangerous bird attractions that are included in the BAM. Military low-level mission planning now includes AHAS as a necessary component, and aircrew can access the most recent bird hazard conditions on a dedicated website. In the event that the planned route is classified as severe or moderate, AHAS will offer relative risk assessments for the intended mission and allow the aircrew to choose a less hazardous one. The USAF BASH Team bird strike database showed that, prior to 2003, roughly 25% of all strikes were connected to low-level routes and bombing ranges. More significantly, these strikes were responsible for more than 50% of the total reported damage costs. Following ten years of employing AHAS to steer clear of routes with extremely high ratings, the percentage of strikes linked to low-level flight operations has dropped to 2012, and the associated costs have been slashed in half.

The only production-model bird radar currently in use for air traffic controllers’ tactical real-time avoidance of bird-aircraft strikes was created in 2003 by the US company DeTect. Both commercial airports and military airfields use these systems. The system makes use of commonly used technology for BASH management as well as real-time tracking, detection, and warning of potentially dangerous bird activity at commercial airports, military airfields, and bombing and training ranges. NASA selected MERLIN technology after a thorough review and in-flight testing, and it was eventually utilized to identify and monitor potentially hazardous vulture activity throughout the 22 Space Shuttle launches from 2006 until the program’s termination in 2011. Since 2003, the USAF has hired DeTect to supply the previously mentioned Avian Hazard Advisory System (AHAS).

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) uses the successful ROBIN (Radar Observation of Bird Intensity) system that was developed by the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, a research and development organization. ROBIN is a system that tracks bird movements in almost real-time. Large radar systems’ signals are analyzed by ROBIN to identify flocks of birds within them. Air Force pilots are alerted by this information when taking off and landing. Years of tracking bird migration with ROBIN have also improved our understanding of bird migration behavior, which has an impact on preventing bird strikes and, consequently, on flight safety. Following the deployment of the RABIN system at the RNLAF, there has been a greater than 20% decrease in the quantity of bird-aircraft collisions in the vicinity of military air bases.

The military tactics mentioned above have no equivalents in civilian aviation. There has been some experimentation at certain airports with small portable radar units, but no government policy or standard for radar warning has been put into place.


What happens if a bird hits a plane?

Almost all bird strikes impact the front-facing areas of the plane, because, you know, physics. This can cause damage to the windscreen, nose, and the engines. While damage to the nose and windscreen can cause a flight to be diverted, the biggest risk to flight safety is unsurprisingly damage to the engines.

What is it called when a bird hits a plane?

A bird strike (sometimes called birdstrike, bird ingestion (for an engine), bird hit, or bird aircraft strike hazard (BASH)) is a collision between an airborne animal (usually a bird or bat) and a moving vehicle (usually an aircraft).

How common is bird strike on plane?

Almost fifty bird strikes are reported daily on average. Only a fraction of those cause any significant damage. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, an average of 47 aircraft strikes are reported daily. The vast majority of those, some 97% of bird strikes, occur close to takeoff or landings.