Date of this Version
From Wildlife in Airport Environments: Preventing Animal-Aircraft Collisions through Science-Based Management, ed. T.L. DeVault, B.F. Blackwell, & J.L. Belant (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).
The first human-powered flight took place in December 1903, when Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flew their experimental aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, USA. Birds, which had been practicing powered flight for about 150 million years, suddenly had a new "competitor" for airspace, and the bird-aircraft collision problem (hereafter referred to as bird strikes) began shortly thereafter (Cleary and Dolbeer 2005). On 7 September 1905, the first reported bird strike, as recorded by Orville Wright in his diary, occurred when his aircraft hit a bird over a cornfield near Dayton, Ohio, USA. Flocks of red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and other birds are often attracted to cornfields in autumn to feed (Dolbeer 1990), making it likely that a red-winged blackbird caused the first known bird strike. In addition to birds, mammals and other wildlife can be a problem for safe aircraft operations. The first reported mammal strike occurred on 25 July 1909, at the start of Louis Bleriot's historic first flight across the English Channel from Les Baraques, France. While warming up the engine of the Bleriot XI aircraft, an excited farm dog ran into the spinning propeller (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/novaltranscripts/ 3207 _bleriot.html).