89,000 since 1990
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports that bird strikes by airplanes have more than doubled at 13 major U.S. airports in the last decade.
The FAA has just released the previously withheld records on bird strikes and has made the information available on the internet.
11 people have died since 1990 from airplane collisions with birds or deer on the runway, among the more than 89,000 animal-strike incidents.
Pressure to release the information came after birds took out both engines aboard the US Air Flight 1549 over the Hudson River in January that resulted in a picture perfect landing with no loss of life.
Major airports included in the bird-strike count include:
- JFK International in New York - 30 accidents since 1990
- Sacramento International in California - 28 accidents since 1990. Both major airports sit adjacent to farmland or wetlands that attract birds.
- Browerville, MN – student and instructor pilot died when their small twine-engine crashed after striking a Canada goose
- A United 737 collision with birds and a small deer resulted in 29 injuries
- In Alaska, two private planes hit caribou
Birds, gulls, Canada geese, deer, turkey vultures, and pigeons were among the animals involved in most of the collisions.
The FAA had been keeping private information on bird-strikes arguing that disclosure could jeopardize aviation safety.
The agency plans on refining the data over the next few months so the public can download information. #