Hawker Beechcraft 400A, Sugar Land, Texas, July 31, 2009–While on takeoff roll from Sugar Land Municipal Airport and approaching 95 knots, the pilots saw one large and two smaller birds flying across their path and were unable to react before at least one struck the airplane. The number-two engine immediately rolled back, and the pilots aborted the takeoff.
The NTSB issued recommendations that the FAA revise birdstrike certification requirements and more carefully monitor charter operators following the Board’s determination of the probable cause of a birdstrike crash in Oklahoma City last year. The crash occurred on March 4, 2008, about two minutes after a Cessna Citation 500 registered to Southwest Orthopedic & Sports Medicine took off from Wiley Post Airport.
The U.S. Air Force has ordered a DeTect Merlin Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance System to be installed at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. The Merlin system for Bagram is self-contained in a mobile unit and includes the SharpEye solid-state bird radar sensor system, which can detect bird activity to eight miles through 360 degrees “in all weather conditions,” according to DeTect.
Cessna Citation 500, Oklahoma City, Okla., March 4, 2008–The Board has determined that wing structural damage caused by one or more large birdstrikes
The NTSB said the probable cause of a crash in Oklahoma City of a Cessna Citation I was airplane wing-structure damage sustained during impact with one or more large birds–identified as American white pelicans–which resulted in a loss of control of the airplane.
I’m hoping that the next time Discovery Channel decides to do a special on Crashes that Changed Flying–and asks for my opinion–I’ll be able to point to Captain Sully’s landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the frigid waters of the Hudson River this past January as the accident that finally got something done about the dangers of birdstrikes.
The FAA relented and on April 24 made its entire birdstrike database available to the public.
The vice president of Bend, Ore.-based Precise Flight last month expressed disappointment with Peggy Gilligan, the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, for failing to acknowledge the effectiveness of “on-aircraft” devices in deterring birdstrikes.
DNA analysis of material taken from the pilot-side windscreen of a Sikorsky
S-76C++ helicopter that crashed January 4 near Morgan City, La., suggests that
the accident might have been caused by a bird strike.
A 1975 Cessna Citation I (N113SH) that crashed March 4 while taking off from Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport is reported to have encountered a flock of birds before the accident. Three passengers and two pilots died when the twinjet crashed four miles from the airport.