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The Aviation Industry and Bird Strikes

By Edited Apr 5, 2014 0 0

Bird strikes have been around since the beginning of aviation and are still causing problems today, as most recently evidenced by the crash of US Airways Flight 1549 on January 15, 2009. Just five miles from the airport, the plane collided with a flock of geese and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Fortunately, everyone on board survived; in fact, there were no serious injuries aside from a few passengers suffering from hypothermia.

What's now being deemed as "Miracle on the Hudson" brings to light the severity of bird strikes and the real damage they can incur. According to the Bird Strike Committee, bird and other wildlife strikes (which are rare, but do occur) cause well over $600 million in damage to American civil and military aircraft annually. Furthermore, more than 219 people have been killed worldwide since 1988 as a result of a wildlife strike. Subsequently, the increased number of bird strikes has prompted U.S. and Canadian airport officials to implement methods of reducing them.

The Bird Strike Committee was initially formed to find ways of handling this problem but bird strikes are not an easily solved problem. The program implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is comprised of several tactics, including controlling bird populations, habitat deterrence (landscaping that can deter wildlife away), egg oiling, and removing vegetation and nests. In some cases, lethal methods must be used (trapping and shooting birds), though a federal permit is required to do so.



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