FAA: Hundreds Of Airplane Bird Strikes In Oklahoma

Friday, April 24th 2009, 3:29 pm
By: News On 6


WASHINGTON, DC -- Newly-released data from the Federal Aviation Administration reveals more than a thousand airplane animal strikes in Oklahoma over the last 19 years.

Most of the collisions involved birds.

It's the first time the FAA has ever released its records on collisions between airplanes and birds.

The information dates back to January of 1990.

The release of the records comes after a US Airways jet ditched in the Hudson River in January after Canada geese knocked out both of its engines.

The FAA data include details of more than 89,000 incidents nationwide.

The reports also include 28 cases since 2000 where a collision with a bird or other animal such as a deer on a runway was so severe it destroyed the aircraft.

According to the data, there have been 1,063 collisions between airplanes and animals in Oklahoma since January of 1990. 

The largest number of strikes, 583, involved birds that were unidentified.

The reports detail 321 bird strikes at Tulsa International Airport since 1990.

In the most recent incident, which happened on October 28th, 2008, a Southwest Airlines 737 sustained minor damage to its tail when it was struck by an unknown species of bird as the plane approached the runway for a night-time landing.

The vast majority of strikes at both airports did not do any damage to the aircraft involved.

The last time a bird strike caused substantial damage to a plane at Tulsa International Airport was on September 13th, 2005.

In that incident, a Southwest Airlines 737 ingested an unknown type of bird into its left engine just moments after taking off.

The engine needed major repairs.

The data indicate a total of 452 bird strikes at Oklahoma City's Will Rogers World Airport over the same time span.

The most recent incident happened on November 17th, 2008, when a biologist found the body of a barn swallow and concluded it had been killed by a collision with an unknown aircraft.

The last time a bird strike substantially damaged an aircraft at Will Rogers World Airport was on March 19th, 2005.

In that incident, a United Airlines 737 ingested an unknown species of bird into its left engine during takeoff, causing $1,070,000 in damages.

The reports also show that Oklahoma pilots have collided with many non-flying animals on the ground over the last 19 years.

These collisions included 12 deer, 10 skunks, 5 coyotes, 4 turtles plus an opossum, an armadillo and a cow.

Click here to search the FAA database.