Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version

August 2001


Aviation today faces another, new, thing: wildlife hazards. Since 1995 we have, worldwide, over 90 people dead from collisions between their aircraft and wildlife. It is truly a worldwide problem: the General of the Air Force in India worries about elephants on his runways; flamingos cause engine failure on a wide body aircraft in Kenya; Lan Chile has 2 B767s with destroyed engines in one week in Santiago due to bird ingestion; the Israeli Air Force has lost more aircraft to bird strikes than to air-air combat; an Air Ontario twin turboprop has both props shattered at Toronto City after striking geese; a Delta MD-11 scatters engine parts over 5,000’ of runway in Portland after ingesting a Gull; a Learjet owned by the Dallas Cowboys Football Club is destroyed by post-impact fire after colliding with deer on the runway in Alabama; in Panama two are killed when their news helicopter collided with a vulture this spring. We previously heard the statistic from the U.S. FAA that wildlife damage to aviation in the U.S. caused $300-400 million in damage and lost revenue every year in the U.S. Now we are faced with the shocking statistic, from Central Science Laboratory in the U.K. that, worldwide, wildlife strikes to aircraft are costing the worldwide aviation community US$1.6 billion a year, every year. Quite a shocking statistic considering the crying needs of aviation worldwide. From an industry viewpoint we find that there is good, bad and ugly regarding this new hazard: