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.
Preliminary Report: Cause of Turboprop Ditching Still Unknown
Offshore oil helicopter service operator PHI is accusing Sikorsky of suppressing evidence related to the cause of a 2009 crash that killed eight aboard an S-76C++ near Morgan, City, La., after a bird strike to the windscreen.
Bird strikes are as old as aviation itself, with the Wright brothers reporting the first such hit during an early test flight. Today, aircraft bird strikes are relatively common, but thankfully rarely fatal. However, they do routinely result in costly aircraft damage.
Although the outcome of US Airways Flight 1549 could not have been much better, the accident nevertheless prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to issue 33 recommendations to U.S. and European aviation authorities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hawker Beechcraft C99, Show Low, Ariz., Nov. 4, 2009–The twin turboprop suffered a birdstrike while inbound to Show Low Regional Airport. According to the pilot, at an altitude of approximately 11,000 feet msl a bird penetrated the windshield, leaving a football-size hole and showering the cockpit with blood, bird parts
One year’s end always gets me thinking about the past 12 months and my hopes for the year to come. In my business, one of the things I do is look at the accidents that have occurred, what we can learn from them and how we can prevent future ones. Last year there were two high-profile accidents that have a lot to teach us; unfortunately, the lessons are ones we have already learned but for whatever reasons failed to tackle successfully.
Cessna 550 Citation II, Sellersburg, Ind., June 5, 2009–A collision with
In recent years the FAA has focused a majority of its birdstrike research efforts on the use of avian radar systems. The effectiveness of bird radars has been well documented, but many companies–including the radar manufacturers themselves–acknowledge that radar technology alone won’t eliminate the problem.
The number of birdstrikes reported annually in the U.S. rose from 1,759 in 1990 to 7,666 in 2007, and by Jan. 15, 2009, the statistics finally caught up with US Airways Flight 1549, piloted by the now famous Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and first officer Jeffrey Skiles.
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