Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

August 2000


The purpose of the Radio Control flying program is to aid in the effort of bird harassment. Because no one method can be successful in deterring birds from inhabiting the runway area, several different measures must be taken to ensure we are doing all we can to keep them away. Radio-controlled planes, combined with other techniques, are a valuable tool in the ongoing efforts against birds on the airfield. Radio-controlled (RC) planes can scare birds where other techniques fall short. With a range of over one mile, the RC planes can cover most of the runway/infield area while being controlled by one person from one single spot on the airfield. This gives the operator the flexibility to employ bird harassment from basically anywhere at any time. Given this flexibility, the user can effectively harass birds, regardless of bird location or movement. The planes are a 6 foot wing span, balsa wood constructed model powered by a .75 cubic inch gas engine. They travel at speeds of 75-100 MPH and weigh about 5 pounds. When these planes get close to soaring raptors, the birds become scared and fly away. Bottom line: This is a win/win scenario because the birds are not harmed, and the danger to flying safety is mitigated.