Location of Birdstrike Damage
Graphic shows in % birdstrikes and its location. (Source: EASA)

Last week we posted on Linkedin a graphic about the damage of the birdstrike and its location that lead the way to an interesting discussion: Scroll down to find the original post & join the discussion!

Importance of birdstrike reporting

Reporting these events is the most important thing in order to build a strong awareness of the importance of bird/wildlife strikes. The civil and military aviation communities widely recognize that the threat to human health and safety from aircraft collisions with wildlife (wildlife strikes) is increasing (Dolbeer 2000, MacKinnon et al. 2001).

Globally, wildlife strikes have killed more than 194 people and destroyed over 163 aircraft since 1988 (Richardson and West 2000; Thorpe 2003; 2005; Dolbeer, unpublished data).

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an effective bird/wildlife control programme depends upon accurate and reliable reporting. This must involve pilots and aircraft operators primarily, plus airport ground operations staff.

Reviewing and analysing this data will help identify problems at the airport and indicate the effectiveness of the current bird/wildlife strike prevention methods.

The US situation

All strike reports should be directed to the bird/wildlife strike control coordinator who should forward them to the appropriate regulatory authority. In the US, this is the job of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

About 61% of bird strikes with civil aircraft occur during landing phases of flight (descent, approach and landing roll); 36% occur during the take-off run and climb, and the remainder (3%) occur during the en-route phase. (FAA Stats)

The FAA has initiated several programs to address this important safety issue. Among the various programs is the collection and analysis of data from wildlife strikes. The FAA began collecting wildlife strike data in 1965. However, except for cursory examinations of the strike reports to determine general trends, the data were never submitted to rigorous analysis until the 1990s. In 1995, the FAA, through an interagency agreement with the USDA, Wildlife Services, (USDA/WS), initiated a project to obtain more objective estimates of the magnitude and nature of the national wildlife strike problem for civil aviation. This project involves having specialists from the USDA/WS: edit all strike reports received by the FAA since 1990 to ensure consistent, error-free data; enter all edited strike reports in the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database; supplement FAA-reported strikes with additional, non-duplicated strike reports from other sources; and assist the FAA with the production of annual and special reports summarizing the results of analyses of the data from the National Wildlife Strike Database.

Reporting made easy

At Eclipse Wildlife Control, we developed a global system to help improve security and ensure reliable, quick and easy reporting.

We understand the importance of reporting birdstrikes, so now is possible to submit the report to the FAA immediately

Features:

  • Huge Bird Species Database with photos, mass, flock average size and behaviour of the birds, 100% customizable
  • Customizable daily, monthly, annual reports with your airport/company logo.
  • Identify more useful tools and effectiveness with each species.
  • Birdstrike Report Form: Easy Report Birdstrikes from our app in a few steps.
  • You can continue updating the report later on our Web Admin Software, or take photos of the birdstrikes. (FAA Form 5200-7)
Birdstrike Report
The EWC System App allows the user to quickly record reliable information of any incident.

Original post & discussion

Highlighted comments

I seem to recall Richard Dolbeer at last weeks excellent North American Birdstrike Conference hashtag#USDA hashtag#FAA hashtag#TransportCanada discussed more up to date and different figures than those presented from EASA. The interesting point being there may be far more nose hashtag#birdstrikes and potential link to sensors (AOA, Pitot etc) being struck & damaged. Seems hitherto nobody’s been looking at this until now. Agencies, Authorities, Operators should be interrogating their birdstrike data and sharing with OEMS etc. hashtag#Boeing hashtag#Airbus

Nick Yearwood (International Specialist – Aerodrome & Wildlife Hazard Management at CAA International Group (UK CAA)

In response to Nick Yearwood’s comment and EASA graphic above: The data I presented at NA Bird Strike Conference related to parts of civil aircraft in USA struck by birds (53% of strikes were to nose/radome, windshield, frontal fuselage).  In addition 14% of strikes were to miscellaneous “other” components (e.g., wipers, pitot tubes, TAT sensors, AOA vanes, antennae, cowlings), many of which are located on front of aircraft, If  one looks at parts of aircraft damaged, a different picture emerges (27% of damage strikes to nose/radome, windshield, frontal fuselage) which is similar to the EASA graphic above.  In my presentation. I was just trying to make the point that a lot of bird strikes occur in areas where critical sensors are located.  I agree that there is likely a bias in more strikes being reported that hit aircraft directly in front of flight crew than in other localities on aircraft.  Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that sensors are typically located in areas where bird strikes are likely to occur. This is a great example of how bird strike data can be looked at in many different ways (e.g., all strikes vs damaging strikes). Each way may be legitimate, depending on the question being asked.

Richard Dolbeer (Owner, Dolbeer Wildlife Consulting)

Join the discussion and share your thoughts!