Oklahoma Pilots Beware: Soaring Deer Population Creates Havoc On Runways
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oh, deer! Unwary motorists aren't the only ones who need to beware of the four-legged animals, especially at this time of the year. Pilots are also having deer encounters that rarely end well, especially for the deer.
In Oklahoma, since 1978, Federal Aviation Administration data says there have been 12 deer-airplane collisions reported, including seven of those incidents at airports in eastern Oklahoma.
- 7/26/1997 Pryor
- 2/6/1998 Okmulgee
- 3/2/2004 McAlester
- 5/14/2006 Okmulgee
- 8/8/2006 McAlester
- 10/9/2006 Wagoner
- 12/24/2012 Okmulgee
Most of the collisions occurred when the airplane was landing and a deer or several deer darted across the runway. In each of the incidents the aircraft was damaged and several caused the death of the deer.
Deer are a nuisance for airports and threats to pilots and planes, according to aviation and wildlife experts.
Nationwide, the vast majority of collisions involved white-tailed deer, the smallest member of the North American deer family, but big enough to wreck a plane.
According to the FAA data, deer weren't the only animals to collide with airplanes in Oklahoma. A check of the data shows 10 skunks, five coyotes, four turtles plus an opossum, an armadillo and a cow also were involved in collisions involving an airplane.
CBS News contributed to this report.