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Old January 18th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #1
hkskyline
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MISC | Keeping Birds Away From Planes

Collision avoidance: Airports use everything fireworks, dogs and shotguns to scare off birds
16 January 2009

BOSTON (AP) - Birds like those believed to have crippled a US Airways jetliner in New York have been a danger to aviation since the days of Orville and Wilbur Wright, so airports use everything from hawks and snarling dogs to screaming fireworks and shotguns to kill or scare off the intruders.

Federal aviation officials require airports to have programs to prevent collisions between birds and planes.

"It gets as simple as banging pots and pans and getting out of your vehicle to just shoo them away," said John Ostrom, a Minneapolis airport executive and chairman of the Bird Strike Committee-USA, a volunteer group of airline, government and wildlife experts formed in 1991 to share information.

The airport in Fort Myers, Fla., lets a border collie roam its turf. In Orlando, Fla., airport officials strain fish out of stormwater runoff pools to eliminate a food source for birds. At the Sea-Tac Airport in Washington, officials have filled a pond with black floating balls to discourage waterfowl. They also developed a grass seed mix containing a fungus that makes it less appetizing to some birds and insects.

Airports also routinely keep the grass cut short to make their grounds less attractive to wildlife.

At Boston's Logan Airport and many other U.S. airports, they startle birds with propane cannons or other noisemakers.

When that doesn't work, marksmen pull out a shotgun and kill birds -- sometimes to the chagrin of conservationists.

In 2007, California officials stopped killing birds with shotguns at the Sacramento airport over concerns the practice violated state wildlife protection laws. The airport last week gained temporary permission to kill birds as a last resort until state law can be changed, said Hardy Acree, director of the Sacramento Airport System.

"We exist in an area that is rich in habitat, so it's always a delicate balance between managing the safety of the public with the habitat that we're part of," he said.

The agency that operates New York City's major airports said it has a multimillion- dollar program to chase birds off its property, but can only do so much to protect planes once they are in the air.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it kills thousands of birds every year in the marshes and tidal flats around its two major airports in Queens, and uses guns, pyrotechnics and hunting hawks to drive away seagulls and other birds.

The work has special meaning in Boston. In 1960, an Eastern Airlines plane crashed into Boston Harbor after hitting a flock of starlings on takeoff from Logan, killing 62 people. It remains the deadliest bird-collision accident in U.S. history and was a catalyst for the modern-day collision-avoidance and engine improvement programs.

"We try to make the airfield as unwelcoming to birds as possible," said Edward Freni, aviation director for the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan. "We don't want to ring the dinner bell for birds."

From 1990 to 2007, there were nearly 80,000 reported incidents of birds striking nonmilitary aircraft, or about one collision for every 10,000 flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Agriculture.

Alexis Higgins, a spokeswoman for the Tulsa, Okla., airport, said Thursday's crash reinforces the importance of keeping birds away from runways.

"If anything, it brings awareness to the public," Higgins said. "For instance, when we are out using pyrotechnics to scare birds, that could startle passengers and they don't always understand what we are doing."

Birds can get sucked into jet engines, wrecking them, or can crash through cockpit windows. The FAA requires airliners to withstand collisions with birds weighing as much as 8 pounds at particularly vulnerable points along the aircraft.

The plane that ditched in New York's Hudson River on Thursday was powered by two CFM engines certified to withstand sucking in five 1.5-pound birds or a single 4-pound bird. Jet engines are tested with freshly killed birds or a gelatin substitute with similar properties.

The Wright brothers learned the risk of a bird strike in 1905, according to their diaries. The men who built the first airplane wrote of flying four loops in Dayton, Ohio -- twice over a cornfield -- and hitting a bird with the top wing of their biplane.

Today the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have BASH, or Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard, programs. Their importance was underscored after 24 people were killed in the 1995 crash of an Air Force plane whose engines sucked in several Canada geese shortly after takeoff from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska.

Military pilots are especially vulnerable because they often fly in clusters, practice low-level flying and make repeated takeoffs and landings that mimic the precision approach to aircraft carriers.

The lesson the armed forces have learned is to constantly reevaluate their tactics, said Matthew Klope, a biologist at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington who helps administer the BASH program. Collies may work against waterfowl but not raptors, he said, while noisemakers scare away wildlife for only a limited period.

"You have to change your toolbox constantly," Klope said. "It's up to the biologist on the base to change that recipe. And the specifics of birds change with migration, so you have to change your techniques as the seasons change."
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:16 AM   #2
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Bird radar could be expanded to all NY-NJ airports
23 January 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Authorities say they want a sophisticated bird-detection system at a New York airport where a US Airways plane took off before splashing down in the Hudson River.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Aviation Director William DeCota says the system could easily encompass all three major regional airports -- LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark.

He says the system is already slated to be deployed at Kennedy airport. The system beeps when birds fly near a jet, allowing air traffic controllers to warn pilots.

Flight 1549 departed from LaGuardia on Jan. 15 before a collision with birds knocked out both engines. The pilot ditched the plane in the river. All 155 aboard survived.

The National Transportation Safety Board discovered a feather on one of the plane's wings.
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Old January 24th, 2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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Over here (and most likely at other airports as well), they use a car which has a couple of speakers on the roof which sends out sounds of a bird which is warning other birds for danger. Also, a falcon programme is active around the airport which should keep away the birds.

Sadly enough that doesn't seem to be thorough enough seeing a couple of months ago we had an airplane hit by a bird (a kestrel). So such a bird-detection system could perhaps help detect them, but I'm not sure whether pilots can do a lot with such information when they get it...

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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #4
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Anchorage airport actively keeps birds away
16 January 2009

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Officials at Alaska's largest airport say they are keeping a watchful eye on the investigation into Thursday's Hudson River plane crash caused by a bird strike

But they have no immediate plans to change their bird mitigation practices, even as the news stirs memories of the fatal 1995 bird strike-related crash at nearby Elmendorf Air Force Base.

Birds are believed to have crippled a US Airways jetliner in New York on Thursday, and the pilot ditched the plane in the Hudson River. Everyone survived.

Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, which has 300 takeoffs and landings daily, also has a $183,804, year-round contact with the federal government for bird mitigation.

U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife specialist Marc Pratt says birds are monitored round-the-clock during the spring, summer and fall, and 40 hours weekly during the winter, when fewer are residing in the state.

"Since we've been here 14 years, we've got a pretty good handle on what's going on here," Pratt said.

"That isn't to say things don't change. We constantly review our database, look at the airfield, and look at the bird populations to mitigate those hazards," he said.

The airports mitigation plan includes:

-- Posting exclusions such as fences, netting or grading over culverts.

-- Changing the landscape, such as mowing, removing trees or filling in low lying areas to prevent standing water. This discourages wildlife habitation.

-- Wildlife harassment such as making noise or posting decoys that would frighten birds away from flight paths.

-- Removal of birds, which Pratt called a last resort and is often done with non-lethal measures. Pratt wouldn't say how many birds were killed last year.

The program dates to 1996, one year after an AWACS plane went down killing 24 crew members after a flock of Canada geese got sucked into the plane's left side engine.

On that Sept. 22 day, an Airborne Warning and Control System jet crashed 43 seconds after take off from the base located two miles north of downtown Anchorage.

It was the first crash of an AWACS plane since the Air Force began using them in 1977. The plane carried 125,000 pounds of fuel and tore a football-sized black scar through the woods.

Six months later, the Air Force disciplined five officers, including the man who oversaw the base's bird hazard program.

It didn't take Thursday's incident in New York for personnel to recall the 1995 crash, said Maj. Chuck Benbow, a flight safety officer in charge of the base's Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard program.

"All you need is to see a flock of birds overhead to remind yourself of the dangers they posses to aircraft," Benbow said.

"The program at Elmendorf was nothing to be praised, lauded or talked about," Benbow said. "Since then it's a 180-degree turn. Now Elmendorf has a model system many others look at."

The base also has a contract with the federal government similar to that of the Anchorage airport, Benbow said.

During heavy migration seasons -- usually spring and fall months -- at least two personnel are monitoring the airfield grounds around the clock for birds.

Even away from the airfield, personnel watch out for wildlife attractions like garbage in the back of a pick up.

Benbow said all active duty personnel are required to take hazard training and the repeat it annually. The base has about 6,000 active duty personnel.

Flight operators -- pilots, navigators, engineers -- attending quarterly safety briefings that include bird mitigation updates as well.

Elmendorf had a bird strike last October, Benbow said, but it caused only some engine damage.

The Anchorage airport had a bird strike last May. An Alaska Airlines jet struck several geese just after takeoff. The flight returned to the airport safely and the passengers were put on another aircraft.

Pratt wouldn't say how many strikes have occurred recently, but said when a strike happens, the personnel take several steps.

Pratt said it starts with interviewing the pilot and crew, identifying the bird and, if necessary, seeking help from a laboratory in Washington for specific identification.

"You're never going to stop bird strikes," Pratt said. "It's how we can mitigate the threat that's important.

"That's also why it's important that all strikes get reported. The data used is essential to help solving wildlife threats," he said.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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More US airports testing radar that can spot birds, potentially avoid collisions with planes
26 January 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Some of the nation's busiest airports will soon begin testing experimental radar systems designed to track flocks of birds and help pilots avoid the type of collision believed to have crippled a US Airways jet nearly two weeks ago.

Proponents say air traffic controllers could someday use the technology to delay takeoffs, reroute flights before they leave the ground, and perhaps even radio warnings to pilots to take evasive action.

The new technology uses a combination of inexpensive marine radar antennas, much like the kind used on fishing boats, and powerful computer software to monitor birds as they gather and soar as far as six miles away from an airport.

The dangers were illustrated Jan. 15 when a US Airways jet lost thrust in both engines after it apparently smacked into a flock of birds 90 seconds into a flight from LaGuardia Airport. The pilot managed to guide the plane to a belly landing on the Hudson River, saving all 155 people aboard.

Executives at DeTect Inc., a Panama City, Fla., maker of bird-detecting radar, said such systems might someday prevent accidents like that by letting controllers know when big groups of birds are getting close to a busy flight path.

Other experts and Federal Aviation Administration officials cautioned that the technology is unproven and still needs years of refinements. Still, it has shown enough promise that the FAA is expanding testing significantly.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which has been evaluating bird radar since mid-2007, deployed its third detector on Friday. Chicago's O'Hare is slated to get one of the systems within six weeks. Dallas-Fort Worth, which took part in a previous round of testing, will see a more permanent installation within three months.

And last week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey asked the FAA to consider installing the systems at all three of its major airports.

Even before the US Airways accident, one of those busy airports, Kennedy, was on the list of sites slated to get a unit in the coming months, but the Port Authority asked that the installation be accelerated and expanded.

Tim J. Nohara, president of radar-maker Accipiter of Ontario, Canada, said he envisions the systems working much like weather advisories, providing controllers and airport managers with a general sense of the presence of migrating birds in the area, rather than give specific information about an impending collision.

"The technology we have right now is capable of doing it," he said.

As for relaying information to pilots in time for them to take evasive action, "we're years off from that happening," said Steve Osmek, the wildlife program manager at Seattle-Tacoma International.

The technology is relatively cheap. A simple bird radar system can be had for $500,000, about what it costs to replace a single engine knocked out by a bird. More expansive systems can cost $2 million or more.

The FAA began researching such technology nearly nine years ago, and experimental systems have been undergoing trials for several years at military airfields.

Birds have been a danger at all three major New York City-area airports.

Historically, the problem has been worst at seaside Kennedy, but the number of plane-vs.-bird incidents there has declined recently, from 146 strikes in 1996 to 70 in 2007, while the problem at LaGuardia has become more serious. Pilots and controllers reported 87 strikes there in 2007 versus 25 in 2001. Figures from 2008 are not available.

In almost all cases, planes can keep flying after they hit birds, but the damage is often expensive to repair and there are occasionally horrific accidents.

The Port Authority and its insurers had to pay Air France $5.3 million for damage inflicted on a Concorde jet by a flock of geese at JFK in 1995. A DC-10 carrying 139 people crashed and burned on JFK's tarmac in 1975 after colliding with gulls during takeoff. The passengers survived.

As for whether bird-detecting radar could help avoid those types of accidents, the FAA is bullish on their potential, but realistic about where the technology is now.

"It is a vision, at this point," said Ryan King, wildlife hazard program manager at the FAA's research facility in Atlantic City, N.J. But he added: "We are seeing some positive results."
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Old January 27th, 2009, 07:09 AM   #6
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Sort of related: Durban's new King Shaka International Airport is located 2.6km from a major barn swallow roosting site - measures are being taken to reduce the risk of bird strikes. The Airports Company South Africa has published the following press release that explains what they are.

The results of the initial study that was done as part of the environmental impact assessment are available here for anyone that's interested.

-------

New International Airport at La Mercy Update – January 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009 | 00:00

The construction team at the new international airport at La Mercy reported back on site on 5th January 2009 and the project is back on track and the team is working towards completing the project by the 1st quarter the 2010.

At the end of 2008 a significant milestone was reached when the 55m air traffic control tower cab was raised in record time and now the next milestone is the new bird detection radar system that has been set up on the barn swallow reed bed area at Mt Moreland’s Lake Victoria Conservancy.

Sean van der Valk, ACSA Project Manager mentioned, “ The project is looking more and more like an airport and now that the construction team is back on site we will be working to ensure that we deliver this project on time while we continue to comply with the conditions of the ROD”.

Terence Delomoney, GM Durban International and National Airports was excited about the implementation of the radar system and said,” As ACSA we wanted to ensure that we complied fully with the conditions of the positive ROD that was issued by DEAT and we are also very pleased that the radar system is up and running to help us to monitor the birds while they are still in the area. The system will be based in the Mt. Moreland area and ACSA is committed to work with the community and expertise to ensure the birds and airport can co-exist”.

Bird Detection Radar System

Arrival of System
The Bird Detection Radar System arrived in the country during early January and has subsequently been set up on the new airport site.

Setup of System
Technical staff from De-Tect Inc the company that supplied the radar are currently finalising the setup, installation and operation of the unit.

Data being recorded
Radar data collection commenced recently and has thus far again confirmed that the swallows generally flock well below the height at which aircraft will fly over the reed bed.

Compliant to conditions of ROD
The implementation of the radar system is in line with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Record of Decision (ROD) from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism stipulates that a bird detection radar system must be implemented at the airport and integrated into the operational plan to warn pilots of the risk of birds in the approach or departure areas when the swallows are present.

Co-existence between swallows and airport
The barn swallows are only present in South Africa during the summer months and large numbers (approximately 1.5 million) are known to use the reed bed at Mt Moreland as a roost site. The swallows gather in large flocks over the reed bed in the late afternoon before they settle down to roost and again depart from there in the early morning. The swallows only flock over the reed bed for a short period of time in the afternoon and are in most instances well below where aircraft will pass over. In the early morning the swallows depart from the reed bed with a couple of minutes and don’t return until late afternoon. The risk to aircraft is therefore not high and a co-existence model between the swallows and the airport is certainly possible with the radar in place to provide real time information on the behaviour of the swallows when they do flock above the reed bed.

The need for the radar system
The bird detection radar system recently purchased by ACSA for the new international airport is the only one of its kind in South Africa. The system has been custom built by De-Tect Inc from Florida in the USA for ACSA to assist in conducting real time observations of the barn swallow flocks that roost in the reed bed at Mount Moreland from October to April every year. Concern has existed that the barn swallow flocks could pose a risk to arriving or departing aircraft at the new airport but previous observations using a similar radar system during the Environmental Impact Assessment Study confirmed that the airport and the swallows can co-exist. The information currently being collected will also be used to develop a sophisticated software algorithm to warn of swallow over the reed bed if it is likely to pose a risk to arriving and departing aircraft.

What does the system do?
The bird detection radar system uses both horizontal as well as vertical radar to scan the area around and above the airport for birds. The radar antennas detect moving targets and provide a view of the landscape and the birds flying around. The radar ornithologists are able to observe the birds flying across the landscape in a 3.7km radius around the airport. The vertical radar antenna scans the airspace above the runway as well as its approach and departure corridors and provides information on the height at which birds are flying above the landscape. Combined the system provides a clear understanding of bird flight behaviour on and around the airport with specific emphasis on the flight patterns of the barn swallows.

How much does the system cost?
The bird detection radar unit has cost ACSA in excess of US$ 300 000 for the hardware itself and further longer term contracts are in place with the company that supplied the unit to develop the appropriate software and to oversee it being implemented into the operational plan of the airport.

Who will operate it and what kind of skills are needed?
The system is currently operated by a radar ornithologist from the USA with assistance from ACSA staff as well as a few local students who assist with observations. ACSA maintains that the future operation of the system will be a joint operation between the Mt. Moreland community, ACSA staff and ornithologist expertise when required.

Issued by :
Colin Naidoo
Manager: Communications and Brand
Durban International and National Airports
Airports Company South Africa
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Old January 31st, 2009, 07:48 AM   #7
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Birds cause aborted takeoffs, emergency landings
31 January 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - Commercial airline crews reported more than two dozen emergency landings, aborted takeoffs or other hair-raising incidents due to collisions with birds in the United States in the past two years, according to a confidential database managed by NASA.

An Associated Press review of reports filed voluntarily with NASA's Aviation Safety Reporting System show that bird-airliner encounters happen frequently, though seldom as dramatic as the one involving a US Airways jet that ditched safely into the Hudson River on Jan. 15 because a run-in with birds took out both of its engines.

Since January 2007, at least 26 serious bird strikes were reported. In some of them, the aircrafts' brakes caught fire or cabins and cockpits filled with smoke and the stench of burning birds. Engines failed and fan blades broke. In one case, a single bird left a 12-inch (30-centimeter) hole in the wing of a Boeing 757-200.

The NASA data does not include details such as the names of crews, airlines or airports involved -- confidentiality designed to encourage greater reporting.

"That's only touching the tip of the iceberg," said former National Transportation Safety Board member John Goglia. "Clearly we don't have knowledge of the full width and breadth of this problem."

From 1990 to 2007, almost 80,000 incidents were reported of birds striking nonmilitary aircraft, about one strike for every 10,000 flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Agriculture. But those numbers also are based on voluntary reports, which aviation safety experts say almost certainly underestimates the size of the problem and fails to convey the severity of some incidents.

In some cases reported to the NASA database, crews said they could smell birds burning in the engines -- "a toxic smell like burning toast (or) popcorn" wrote a flight attendant on an MD-80 airliner that had just taken off last March. After returning to the airport for an emergency landing, it was discovered the aircraft had suffered a bird strike on a previous landing that had gone undetected.

The pilot of a Boeing 767-200 reported aborting a takeoff after the cockpit "filled with the smell of cooking bird." The plane had "ingested" birds in the right engine on a prior landing, but mechanics had thought the birds had passed through the engine and had given the flight the go-ahead to takeoff again.

Among other cases detailed in the NASA database:

--In March 2007, the pilot of a Boeing 777-200, a wide-bodied airliner that typically seats over 280 passengers, reported a bird strike in the right engine shortly after a takeoff, causing strong engine vibrations. The pilot shut down the engine and asked to divert to another airport for an emergency landing, dumping much of the plane's 160,000 pounds (72,575 kilograms) of fuel to reduce the plane's landing weight and cut its risk of breaking apart.

--That same month, a Boeing 757-200 at Denver International Airport was forced to abort a takeoff at between 150 mph (241 kph) and 160 mph (257 kph) after a flock of birds the size of grapefruit flew into the path of the plane. Some birds were sucked into both engines, the pilot reported.

--In July 2008, the pilot of a Boeing 737-300 in the midst of a 139-mph (223-kph) takeoff roll spotted a hawk with a 4-foot wing span on the runway. As the bird flew past the left side of the plane, the crew heard a "very loud bang" and there was engine surge. The pilot aborted the takeoff at great strain to the aircraft's brakes, which caught fire. Fire trucks doused the flames. No one was hurt.

--In May 2008, the pilot of a regional airliner reported that he arrived at his plane to get ready for a flight and found the windshield "covered in blood, guts and feathers from an obvious bird strike" during a previous flight. When he complained to the airline's maintenance department, he said, he was told the previous flight crew was responsible for reporting the incident or cleaning up the mess themselves. "At no time should an aircraft ever be left with obvious bird strike debris and no indication that someone has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the aircraft is safe to operate," the pilot's complaint said.

More common than aborted takeoffs are reports of planes that had to circle back to their departure airports or divert to other fields for emergency landings because a bird had damaged an engine shortly after takeoff.

Former NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said the safety board has been warning for decades that birds "are a significant safety problem." The board sent a series of bird-related safety recommendations to the FAA in 1999, including required reporting of bird strikes by airlines and the development of a radar system that can detect birds near airports.

A decade later, reporting is still voluntary and there is no bird-detecting radar except limited testing at a handful of airports.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said developing a reliable bird-detecting radar has proven difficult. Some of the systems tested by the agency picked up insects as well as birds.

"We've been working on this," Brown said, "and haven't developed a system yet we feel we can make operational in a commercial aviation environment that's going to give us the kind of solid, reliable data we're looking for."

Brown said the FAA decided nearly 20 years ago on a voluntary bird strike reporting system to encourage greater cooperation. She said the agency also agreed not to make airport-specific bird strike data public because it didn't want to discourage airports from reporting incidents. She said an airport that was diligent about reporting incidents might look like it had a greater bird problem than an airport that wasn't as thorough.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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Jetliner returns safely to Denver airport after bird gets sucked into 1 of its engines
3 February 2009

DENVER (AP) - A United Airlines jet returned safely to the Denver airport Tuesday after a bird was sucked into one of its engines shortly after takeoff.

The engine that was struck continued to operate and the second engine wasn't affected, airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said. A passenger said the bird hit the right engine.

None of the 151 passengers and crew was injured.

The Boeing 757 had just left for San Francisco when the bird strike happened. McCarthy said the pilot's decision to return to the airport was a precaution.

A US Airways jet splash-landed in New York's Hudson River on Jan. 15 after a collision with a flock of birds knocked out both engines. All 155 aboard survived.

A passenger on the United flight, Frank Crowe of Chicago, said the pilot announced after landing, "It appears we hit a very large bird, something like an eagle."

Crowe said "there was definitely panic but there wasn't hysteria" after the bird strike.

"We heard a large thump like we hit something, and the pitch of the engine changed dramatically to the point that it got real quiet, and there was a rattling, wheezing noise," Crowe said.

Crowe said passengers applauded when the plane landed. He said that later, from the airport concourse, he could see a dent on top of the engine housing. He said mechanics climbed into the engine to inspect it.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer confirmed the bird was ingested by the engine.

FAA statistics show 257 "wildlife aircraft strikes" at Denver International Airport last year. The statistics don't say how many were birds or what parts of the aircraft were hit.

Nationwide, the FAA reported 5,456 bird strikes that damaged aircraft last year, but the agency doesn't say how many birds were sucked into engines.

Kenitzer said bird strikes are more common that people realize.

"They're getting more publicity because of what happened in New York," he said.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #9
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you'd imagine they'd be just scared off...
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #10
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There is only one solution: Kill'em all!
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #11
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A good idea is to use falcons and such category of birds raised for hunting. It exists in France. They use(d) them in some Airports to scare birds away, let the natural instincts work and birds fly away. It is not the solution for everything but one among other solution (and an ecological one).

About geese, I guess you need to ask Nils Olgerson to speak to them (legendary character of kids story in Scandinavia flying on the neck of a domestic jar with wild geese).
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Micrav View Post
A good idea is to use falcons and such category of birds raised for hunting. It exists in France. They use(d) them in some Airports to scare birds away, let the natural instincts work and birds fly away. It is not the solution for everything but one among other solution (and an ecological one).
Lisbon is an example of that
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #13
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i still dont understand why they arent scared off
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #14
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I believe large airports employ sharp shooters to scare birds away, but that is never 100% fail-safe. You can never block off that airspace from birds.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 10:55 PM   #15
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A company from Mallorca, Spain, has developed a falcon "robot" in order to scare birds

http://www.birdraptor.com/
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #16
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With a little imagination, that could have many other uses...
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #17
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Safety investigators in ditched airliner case eye engine standards for bird collisions
25 February 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - A key question emerging from the investigation of the US Airways plane that ditched into New York's Hudson River last month is whether jet engines should be required to withstand a collision with a bird the size of a Canada goose.

The National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said in congressional testimony Tuesday that the board is considering whether to recommend toughening federal standards for jet engines in response to the incident. The engines on the Airbus A320 involved in the accident are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to be able to withstand the impact of a 4-pound bird, smaller than a typical Canada goose, without bursting into flames or spewing shrapnel.

There is no requirement the engines continue to produce power.

"The fact that the accident engines exceeded even today's standard and still failed is of great interest and concern to the safety board," Sumwalt told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

One-and-a-half minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport on Jan. 15, Flight 1549 crossed paths with a flock of Canada geese, sucking birds into both engines and losing all thrust. Without power and unable to reach an airport, pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger glided the plane into the river. All 155 aboard survived -- a nearly impossible feat, according to aviation experts.

Sullenberger and first officer Jeffrey Skiles described to the committee how the geese seemed to appear out of nowhere, filling their entire windshield. Immediately there were multiple loud thumps of birds striking not only the engines, but all over the aircraft. The smell of burning birds filled the cockpit and cabin.

"I think it's reasonable for those in the industry to re-evaluate the engine certification standards," Sullenberger said. "This was atypical, but the risk needs to be adequately assessed."

John Ostrom, a Minneapolis airport official and chairman of the Bird Strike Committee, an independent panel of aviation and wildlife experts, told lawmakers that concern had been building before Flight 1549 about the possibility of a bird-related accident because of a sharp increase in bird populations.

Thirty-four of the 36 largest bird species in North America have shown significant population increases in the past 30 years, and Canada geese -- which typically weigh 8 to 12 pounds -- have quadrupled since 1990, Ostrom said.

"The threat has significantly increased in recent years," Ostrom said. He said the panel sent NTSB a letter in 2007 expressing "grave concerns."

Federal Aviation Administration officials, however, emphasized that the loss of two engines made the ditching of Flight 1549 an extraordinarily rare event.

Margaret Gilligan, the FAA's associate administrator for safety, also applauded the performance of both Flight 1549's crew and the aircraft, telling lawmakers, "In this emergency situation, all our standards were met."

After the hearing, Gilligan and John Hickey, the FAA's deputy associate administrator for safety, stepped over to Sumwalt as he gathered his belongings at the witness table. They stressed that a double engine failure due to birds was so unique it is unlikely to be repeated -- a once in a lifetime occurrence.

"It's the first time in the jet age," Hickey said, shaking his head in amazement.

The implication: Toughening engine requirements may not be necessary.

The Airbus engines manufactured by CFM International, in Cincinnati, were approved by the FAA in 1996, according to NTSB. In 2007, the FAA toughened its standard for future engine designs, requiring they withstand birds up to eight pounds; earlier engine designs like the engines on Flight 1549 can continue to be manufactured to meet the 4-pound requirement, the board said.

More than two years ago, the board urged the FAA to change its engine requirements to take large birds into account.

"We did not specify a minimum weight, but we did note that the weight should be increased to represent birds as large as the Canada goose, which can weigh up to 24 pounds, thereby representing a more realistic threat to airplanes," Sumwalt said.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 06:29 PM   #18
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FAA reverses itself, wants to keep secret reports about passenger planes hitting birds
27 March 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration has reversed itself after promising to disclose records about how frequently and where commercial planes are damaged by hitting flying birds.

The agency has formally proposed keeping those government records secret from air travelers on the grounds that if the public found out the information then airports and air carriers wouldn't report damage from birds.

After a rare multiple bird strike forced a US Airways jet to ditch in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, The Associated Press requested access to the bird strike database, which contains more than 100,000 reports of bird strikes that have been voluntarily submitted since 1990.

In a Feb. 18 conference call, FAA officials promised The Associated Press the agency would turn over the data within days. Since then, the FAA has said only that the AP's request for the data under the Freedom of Information Act was "under review."

Last Thursday, the FAA quietly published its proposal to keep the data secret in the Federal Register, a dry compendium of rules and proposals the government publishes daily.

The agency based its proposal on the assumption that the industry it regulates is more concerned about its image and profits than about the safety of its passengers.

"The agency is concerned that there is a serious potential that information related to bird strikes will not be submitted because of fear that the disclosure of raw data could unfairly cast unfounded aspersions on the submitter," the FAA said in the Federal Register.

The FAA is particularly worried that the public will compare the data on various airports. "Drawing comparisons between airports is difficult because of the unevenness of reporting," it said. Not only do some airports do a better job than others of reporting strikes, they also face different challenges based on the bird habitats in their areas, the agency said.

"Inaccurate portrayals of airports and airlines could have a negative impact on their participation in reporting bird strikes," FAA added.

But the agency has rejected another method of dealing with the problem of unequal reporting by airports and airlines.

In 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the voluntary reporting system fails to produce reports on many bird strikes so the FAA database "grossly underestimates the magnitude of the problem." Further, the board quoted Agriculture Department experts as saying "over 50 percent of the reports lack the most critical piece of information about a strike, the species of bird."

As a result, the board recommended that the FAA require that bird strikes be reported. But the FAA refused.

Meantime, the FAA acknowledges that, with increases in air travel and in the populations of dangerous large birds like Canada geese, the problem is growing. It said the annual number of strikes reported has grown from 1,759 in 1990 to 7,666 in 2007.

The FAA bragged in the notice that its wildlife strike database is "unparalleled."

On Wednesday, after last week's FAA proposal to keep the data secret, Melanie Yohe of the FAA told the AP the release of the database was "way overdue" and that "it should be with you right now." She said there is "no reason for it to take this long."

The FAA's proposal is reminiscent of NASA's efforts in late 2007 to withhold air safety data from the AP because it claimed that revealing the information could damage the public's confidence in airlines and affect airline profits. NASA released parts of the data months later under pressure from Congress and the public, disclosing thousands of pages that were deliberately scrambled so no one could identify the pilots who were promised anonymity to participate in the government safety survey.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #19
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Wichita airport planning addresses bird strikes
11 April 2009

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Bird strikes are among the issues being addressed by officials working on land-use planning for the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport.

The topic has been getting attention in wake of a US Airways jet's forced landing in New York's Hudson River in January. The plane hit a flock of birds shortly after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York.

But bird strikes happen more often than people might realize. Planes at the Wichita airport have hit birds at least 202 times since 1990.

A meeting Friday at the airport included representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wichita and Sedgwick County officials are trying to come up with a comprehensive plan for land use around the airport.

Glenn Helm, a program manager for the FAA's central region, said landfills, wetlands, agriculture, golf courses, stormwater ponds and wastewater treatment centers all attract birds. He said the FAA's general rule is that no such features should be within 5,000 to 10,000 feet of an airport.

Sedgwick County commissioners in November approved a permit for a pond on private property despite the Wichita Airport Authority's warning about bird strikes. Commissioners Kelly Parks and Gwen Welshimer voted against the pond, while Tim Norton and Dave Unruh and former commissioner Tom Winters voted for it. The pond has not been built.

Karl Peterjohn, who took Winters' commissioner seat, and Welshimer are serving on an ad hoc committee looking into wildlife issues at the area's public airports.

After the incident with the plane splash landing in New York, Parks called for a moratorium on ponds near the Wichita airport, but it hasn't gone into effect.

Devon McBridge, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said about 385 of the 82,057 bird strikes occurring nationwide since 1990 were in Kansas and caused 5,575 hours of plane downtime and $876,409 in damage.

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport has reported about 100 plane collisions with birds in the past five years -- more than 90 percent of them at 3,000 feet or below. The birds have ranged from hawks and killdeer to cliff swallows and sparrows.

Welshimer said the problem will have to be handled through zoning and code enforcement.

------

Information from: The Wichita Eagle
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Old April 13th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #20
Micrav
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Why not put a special net in front of engines?
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