Bird Strike Committee Proceedings


Date of this Version


Document Type



Presented at 2011 Bird Strike North America Conference, September 12-15, 2011, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.


Copyright 2011 Flavio Antonio Coimbra Mendonça



•Bird strike risk management is a defense in depth:
•Airplane certification;
•Actions by airport operators;
•Standard regulation by ICAO & National regulators;

•Pilots are always in contact with all sort of hazards;

•Pilots play a big role in managing the risk of bird strikes;

•Pilots are usually the last persons who can avoid an accident;


Assess the perceptions of a selected group of airlines pilots` in Brazil and their knowledge of recommended practices that could reduce the risk of accidents due to bird strikes.

Literature Review

  • SMS – Safety risks that are controlled to a reasonable degree are acceptable in an inherently safe system;
  • Risk – likelihood of hazard consequences in terms of severity and probability ;
  • The rate of exposure to hazards / unsafe conditions may be viewed as another dimension of probability.
  • Training is of paramount importance to effective job performance;
    -Equip employees with skills, knowledge and motivation to perform their duties safely and effectively;
    -Safety training within an airline must ensure that personnel are competent to safely perform their duties;
  • Many pilots are not trained in bird-strike avoidance and this is not a well developed subject either;
  • Management of bird hazard is primarily an airport´s responsibility; however there are actions to be taken by carriers and pilots to reduce the risk;
  • Operators should concentrate efforts:
    -Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), employee training and awareness,and reporting of bird strikes;
  • In the past pilots were passive participants in bird hazard mitigation.
  • Pilots are required to assure the safety of their flights;
  • All flights should be planned and executed accordingly to proven bird-strike risk reduction principles and techniques.
  • There are effective mitigation actions that could be adopted by pilots to reduce the risk (Probabilty X Severity) of bird strikes, as suggested by;
    Cleary & Dolbeer, 2005;
    Dekker and Buurma, 2005;
    Dolbeer, 2006;
    Eschenfelder, 2005;
    Eschenfelder, 2006;
    Flight Safety Foundation, 1989;
    MacKinnon, 2004;
    Mendonça, 2008)


●Questionnaires sent out - FEB 11;
●Last response – JUN 30;
●Considered usable – 296.
Personal Background

  • 69% working in the aviation environment for more than 10 years;
  • 47% were captains;
  • 28% certified by CENIPA (Safety Course);
  • 82% attended at least one safety course;
  • Pilots agree that arrival and departure controllers are indispensable members of the bird-strike risk-management team;
  • Pilots are not sure that heating the windshield during preflight is a bird-hazard risk-management proven technique ;
  • During preflight reviews crews should always consider course of actions that may be necessary in case of bird strikes;
  • Pilots should check the runway for birds before commencing takeoff;
  • The use of landing lights during takeoffs, landings and whenever flying below 10,000 Ft is a well known technique by pilots;
  • Many pilots (57%) do not select engine ignition on for takeoff to improve flameout protection in case of a bird strike;
  • Pilots agreed that they should plan their flights in order to operate at the highest altitude ASAP to reduce their exposure;
  • Pilots (26%) are concerned about reducing the speed in high-risk areas because of an impending stall after a maneuver to avoid birds;
  • Pilots highly agreed that they should listen to ATC and other aircraft so as to get current information about birds;