The Kenya Airports Authority collaborated with the National Birdstrike Committee of Kenya to organize the third annual East African Wildlife Symposium, which runs from May 28-30 in Kisumu, Kenya. The event was created to share information about wildlife hazards in the region and reduce the overall number of wildlife strikes by aircraft in East Africa. This year’s theme is “Wildlife Hazards, Land Use and Aviation Safety: Impact, Challenges and Opportunities for Synergy.”
Large flocks of birds around many Indian airports continue to threaten aircraft that are constantly under threat of strikes particularly during takeoff and landing. Data compiled by Airports Authority of India for Chennai International Airport, for example, shows bird strikes increased from 38 in 2012 to 50 in 2013.
Bell Helicopter has chosen Texstars (Booth No. 507) to provide birdstrike-resistant windshields for the Bell 525 Relentless. These windshields will feature other safety improvements including enhanced pilot’s field-of-vision and a wrap-around windshield that eliminates the need for lower-view chin bubble windows and overhead skylights. The improved pilot’s view will enable direct sighting of mission objectives and landing zones.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week released a new video to reinforce the need for airport operators to report all bird strikes. The production also details how to preserve and prepare bird remains for shipment to Washington, D.C., for analysis.
Wilbur Wright was the first pilot to record a bird strike (in 1905), and the first fatal crash attributable to a bird strike came seven years later. But to most members of the non-flying public, the first time aircraft bird strikes became newsworthy was probably in 2009, when a flock of Canada geese sent Chesley Sullenberger’s A320 into the Hudson River.
Xsight Systems, the same company that developed a system for detecting foreign object debris, recently introduced BirdWize, a software product for reducing bird strikes by more effective tracking of ground-level bird threats.
As congestion increases, avoiding collisions between aircraft and birds is becoming a more pressing issue. The Indian Air Force, which conducts many operational and training flights and often at very low level, attributes around 10 percent of accidents to bird hits. It took the lead last year by issuing global bids to four companies for 45 bird detection and monitoring radar systems (BDRS) to be installed at airports and air bases across India.
When the Transportation Department inspector general conducted a self-initiated audit of the FAA Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program last year, the office concluded that the agency’s oversight and enforcement activities were not sufficient to ensure that airports fully adhere to pr
As a non-pilot I have rarely found myself in the cockpit of a jet airplane in flight. In fact, I have been afforded this distinct privilege exactly twice in two distinctly different aircraft.
Yet wildlife strikes–of which more than 97 percent have been birds–on civil aircraft in the U.S. currently occur on average about 26 times per day or just over one every hour, according to the 2012 joint FAA/Dept of Agriculture report, Wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States, 1990-2010. The total cost to the aviation community of strikes between 1990 and 2010, including damage repairs and replacement parts, out-of-service time and other costs, added up to close to half a billion dollars.
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