Birdstrike. Apart from being one of the biggest hazards of aviation, did you know that this happens 26 times per day? Read on to learn more

birdstrike probability
Several birds flying along with an airplane.

What is a birdstrike?

First, we should define a ‘birdstrike‘:

It is a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a takeoff or landing roll. The term is often expanded to cover other wildlife strikes.

Birdstrike history

If we look back on history, the first birdstrike happened on 7 September 1908, while piloting the Wright Flyer, Orville Wright.

Less than four years later, on 3 April 1912, at Long Beach, California, Calbraith Perry Rodgers, the first man to fly an aeroplane across the United States, became the first person to die as the result of a bird strike.

Importance of birdstrike reporting

These events became the trigger of building 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more than 194 people and destroyed over 163 aircraft since 1988 (Richardson and West 2000; Thorpe 2003; 2005; Dolbeer, unpublished data).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.

Also, ICAO has a Form to report the birdstrikes:

ICAO Birdstrike reporting form part 1
This is the report that ICAO recommends informing birdstrikes
ICAO Birdstrike reporting form
This is the report that ICAO recommends informing birdstrikes (continued)

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.

Not only reporting is crucial

Dr. Carla Dove's aviation birdstrike team studying bird skins inIdentification of species involved in bird/aircraft strikes is an important part of the mitigation of wildlife hazards to aviation. Species identifications provide the baseline data needed to plan habitat management on airfields, allocate resources, build avoidance programs, and have even been used to assist engineers to design windscreens and engines that are more resilient to birdstrike events. Visit Smithsonian Feather DNA & Lab website

SENDING SAMPLES TO THE SMITHSONIAN LAB IS SIMPLE, TAKES JUST MINUTES AND IT’S FREE!

Reporting every wildlife strike is crucial to the continuing effort of birdstrike prevention. Equally important is to assign an accurate species to each case so the overall data is complete and can be correctly interpreted. Although commercial aviation currently reports about 7,500 strikes per year, many of these cases are not associated with a specific identification of the wildlife involved. 

Originally posted at AirPortBirdControl.com

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