Bird strike
A bird strike—sometimes called birdstrike, avian ingestion (only if in an engine), bird hit, or BASH (for Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard)—is a collision
A collision is an isolated event which two or more moving bodies exert forces on each other for a relatively short time.Although the most common colloquial use of the word "collision" refers to accidents in which two or more objects collide, the scientific use of the word "collision" implies...

 between an airborne animal (usually a bird
Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic , egg-laying, vertebrate animals. Around 10,000 living species and 188 families makes them the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from...

 or bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

) and a man-made vehicle, especially aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

. The term is also used for bird deaths resulting from collisions with man made structures such as power lines, towers and wind turbines. A bug strike is an impairment of an aircraft or aviator by an airborne insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...


Bird strikes are a significant threat to flight safety, and have caused a number of accidents with human casualties. The number of major accidents involving civil aircraft is quite low and it has been estimated that there is only about 1 accident resulting in human death in one billion (109) flying hours. The majority of bird strikes (65%) cause little damage to the aircraft; however, the collision is usually fatal to the bird.

Most accidents occur when the bird hits the windscreen or flies into the engines. These cause annual damages that have been estimated at $400 million within the United States of America alone and up to $1.2 billion to commercial aircraft worldwide.

Event description

Bird strikes happen most often during takeoff
Takeoff is the phase of flight in which an aerospace vehicle goes from the ground to flying in the air.For horizontal takeoff aircraft this usually involves starting with a transition from moving along the ground on a runway. For balloons, helicopters and some specialized fixed-wing aircraft , no...

 or landing
thumb|A [[Mute Swan]] alighting. Note the ruffled feathers on top of the wings indicate that the swan is flying at the [[Stall |stall]]ing speed...

, or during low altitude flight. However, bird strikes have also been reported at high altitudes, some as high as 6000 m (19,685 ft) to 9000 m (29,527.6 ft) above the ground. Bar-headed geese
Bar-headed Goose
The Bar-headed Goose is a goose which breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes and winters in South Asia, as far south as peninsular India. It lays three to eight eggs at a time in a ground nest....

 have been seen flying as high as 10175 m (33,382.5 ft) above sea level. An aircraft over the Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

 collided with a Rüppell's Vulture
Rüppell's Vulture
Rüppell's Vulture is a large vulture that occurs throughout the Sahel region of central Africa. The current population of 30,000 is in decline due to ongoing loss of habitat and other pressures...

 at the astonishing altitude of 11300 m (37,073.5 ft), the current record avian height. The majority of bird collisions occur near or on airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s (90%, according to the ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organization
The International Civil Aviation Organization , pronounced , , is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth...

) during takeoff, landing and associated phases. According to the FAA wildlife hazard management manual for 2005, less than 8% of strikes occur above 900 m (2,952.8 ft) and 61% occur at less than 30 m (100 ft).

The point of impact is usually any forward-facing edge of the vehicle such as a wing leading edge, nose cone, jet engine cowling or engine inlet.

Jet engine ingestion is extremely serious due to the rotation speed of the engine fan and engine design. As the bird strikes a fan blade, that blade can be displaced into another blade and so forth, causing a cascading failure
Cascading failure
A cascading failure is a failure in a system of interconnected parts in which the failure of a part can trigger the failure of successive parts.- Cascading failure in power transmission :...

. Jet engines are particularly vulnerable during the takeoff phase when the engine is turning at a very high speed and the plane is at a low altitude where birds are more commonly found.

The force of the impact on an aircraft depends on the weight of the animal and the speed difference and direction at the impact. The energy of the impact increases with the square of the speed difference. Hence a low-speed impact of a small bird on a car windshield causes relatively little damage. High speed impacts, as with jet aircraft, can cause considerable damage and even catastrophic failure
Catastrophic failure
A catastrophic failure is a sudden and total failure of some system from which recovery is impossible. Catastrophic failures often lead to cascading systems failure....

 to the vehicle. The energy
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems...

 of a 5 kg (11 lb) bird moving at a relative velocity
Relative velocity
In non-relativistic kinematics, relative velocity is the vector difference between the velocities of two objects, as evaluated in terms of a single coordinate system....

 of 275 km/h (170.9 mph) approximately equals the energy of a 100 kg (220.5 lb) weight dropped from a height of 15 metres (49 ft). However, according to the FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 only 15% of strikes (ICAO 11%) actually result in damage to the aircraft.
Bird strikes can damage vehicle components, or injure passengers. Flocks
Herd refers to a social grouping of certain animals of the same species, either wild or domestic, and also to the form of collective animal behavior associated with this or as a verb, to herd, to its control by another species such as humans or dogs.The term herd is generally applied to mammals,...

 of birds are especially dangerous, and can lead to multiple strikes, and damage. Depending on the damage, aircraft at low altitudes or during take off and landing often cannot recover in time, and thus crash.

Remains of the bird, termed snarge, are sent to identification centers where forensic techniques may be used to identify the species involved. These samples need to be taken carefully by trained personnel to ensure proper analysis and reduce the risks of zoonoses.

The Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force
The Israeli Air Force is the air force of the State of Israel and the aerial arm of the Israel Defense Forces. It was founded on May 28, 1948, shortly after the Israeli Declaration of Independence...

 has a larger than usual birdstrike risk as Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 is on a major spring and autumn long-distance bird migration
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

Sacramento International Airport
Sacramento International Airport
Sacramento International Airport is a public airport located 10 miles northwest of the central business district of Sacramento, in Sacramento County, California, USA. It is run by Sacramento County...

 has had more bird strikes (1,300 collisions between birds and jets between 1990 and 2007, causing an estimated $1.6 million in damage) than any other California airport. Sacramento International Airport has the most bird strikes of any airport in the west and sixth among airports in the US, according to the FAA
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

, as it is located along the Pacific Flyway
Pacific Flyway
The Pacific Flyway is a major north-south route of travel for migratory birds in America, extending from Alaska to Patagonia. Every year, migratory birds travel some or all of this distance both in spring and in fall, following food sources, heading to breeding grounds, or travelling to...

, a major bird migration path.


The animals most frequently involved in bird strikes are large birds with big populations, particularly geese
The word goose is the English name for a group of waterfowl, belonging to the family Anatidae. This family also includes swans, most of which are larger than true geese, and ducks, which are smaller....

 and gull
Gulls are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders...

s in the United States. In parts of the US, Canada Geese
Canada Goose
The Canada Goose is a wild goose belonging to the genus Branta, which is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, having a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brownish-gray body....

 and migratory Snow Geese
Snow Goose
The Snow Goose , also known as the Blue Goose, is a North American species of goose. Its name derives from the typically white plumage. The genus of this bird is disputed...

 populations have risen significantly while feral Canada Geese and Greylag Geese
Greylag Goose
The Greylag Goose , Anser anser, is a bird with a wide range in the Old World. It is the type species of the genus Anser....

 have increased in parts of Europe increasing the risk of these large birds to aircraft. In other parts of the world, large birds of prey such as Gyps
The Gyps vultures are a genus of Old World vultures in the bird family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks....

vultures and Milvus
Milvus is a genus of medium-sized birds of prey. It is an Old World group consisting of three kites which form part of the subfamily Milvinae...

kites are often involved. In the US reported strikes are divided between waterfowl (32%), gull
Gulls are birds in the family Laridae. They are most closely related to the terns and only distantly related to auks, skimmers, and more distantly to the waders...

s (28%), and raptor
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

s (17%) (Data from the BSC USA). The Smithsonian Institution's Feather Identification Laboratory has identified turkey vultures
Turkey Vulture
The Turkey Vulture is a bird found throughout most of the Americas. It is also known in some North American regions as the Turkey Buzzard , and in some areas of the Caribbean as the John Crow or Carrion Crow...

 as the most damaging birds, followed by Canada geese and white pelicans
White Pelican
The Great White Pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus also known as the Eastern White Pelican or White Pelican is a bird in the pelican family...

, all very large birds. In terms of frequency, the laboratory most commonly finds Mourning Dove
Mourning Dove
The Mourning Dove is a member of the dove family . The bird is also called the Turtle Dove or the American Mourning Dove or Rain Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Turtledove. It is one of the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds...

s and Horned Larks
Shore Lark
The Shore Lark , called the Horned Lark in North America, is a species of bird in the genus Eremophila.- Description :...

 involved in the strike.

The largest numbers of strikes happen during the spring and fall migrations
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

. Bird strikes above 500 feet (152.4 m) altitude are about 7 times more common at night than during the day during the bird migration
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...


Large land-bound animals, such as deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...

, can also be a problem to aircraft during take off and landing, and over 650 civil aircraft collisions with deer were reported in the U.S. between 1990 and 2004.
An animal hazard reported from London Stansted Airport
London Stansted Airport
-Cargo:-Statistics:-Infrastructure:-Terminal and satellite buildings:Stansted is the newest passenger airport of all the main London airports. The terminal is an oblong glass building, and is separated in to three areas: Check-in concourse, arrivals and departures...

 in England is rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

s: they get run over by ground vehicles and planes, and they pass large amounts of droppings, which attract mice, which attract owl
Owls are a group of birds that belong to the order Strigiformes, constituting 200 bird of prey species. Most are solitary and nocturnal, with some exceptions . Owls hunt mostly small mammals, insects, and other birds, although a few species specialize in hunting fish...

s, which become another birdstrike hazard.


There are three approaches to reduce the effect of bird strikes. The vehicles can be designed to be more bird resistant, the birds can be moved out of the way of the vehicle, or the vehicle can be moved out of the way of the birds.

Vehicle design

Most large commercial jet engines include design features that ensure they can shut-down after "ingesting" a bird weighing up to 1.8 kg (4 lb). The engine does not have to survive the ingestion, just be safely shut down. This is a 'stand alone' requirement, i.e., the engine, not the aircraft, must pass the test. Multiple strikes (from hitting a bird flock
Flock (birds)
A flock is a group of birds conducting flocking behavior in flight, or while foraging. The term is akin to the herd amongst mammals. The benefits of aggregating in flocks are varied and flocks will form explicitly for specific purposes...

) on twin engine jet aircraft are very serious events because they can disable multiple aircraft systems, requiring emergency action to land the aircraft, as in the January 15, 2009, forced ditching of US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549 was US Airways' scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina...


Modern jet aircraft structures must be able to withstand one 1.8 kg (4 lb) collision; the empennage (tail) must withstand one 3.6 kg (8 lb) bird collision. Cockpit windows on jet aircraft must be able to withstand one 1.8 kg (4 lb) bird collision without yielding or spalling.

At first, bird strike testing by manufacturers involved firing a bird carcass from a gas cannon and sabot
A sabot is a device used in a firearm or cannon to fire a projectile, such as a bullet, that is smaller than the bore diameter, or which must be held in a precise position. The term is also applied to a battery stub case, a device used similarly to make a small electrical battery usable in a...

 system into the tested unit. The carcass was soon replaced with suitable density blocks, often gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

, to ease testing. Currently testing is mainly conducted with computer simulation
Computer simulation
A computer simulation, a computer model, or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system...

, although final testing usually involves some physical experiments (see birdstrike simulator).

Bird management

To reduce
Bird abatement
The risks that birds create in certain circumstances have brought the need for bird abatement. Amongst those risks are loss of investments in farming and aviculture, aircraft crashes, and bacteriological and viral contamination...

 birdstrikes on takeoff and landing, airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

s engage in bird management and control. There is no single solution that works for all situations. Birds have been noted for their adaptability and control methods may not remain effective for long. Management techniques include changes to habitat around the airport to reduce its attractiveness to birds. Vegetation which produces seeds, grasses which are favored by geese, manmade food, a favorite of gulls, all should be removed from the airport area. Trees and tall structures which serve as roosts at night for flocking birds or perches should be removed or modified to discourage bird use.

Other approaches try to scare away the birds using frightening devices, for example sounds, lights, pyrotechnics
Pyrotechnics is the science of using materials capable of undergoing self-contained and self-sustained exothermic chemical reactions for the production of heat, light, gas, smoke and/or sound...

, radio-controlled airplanes, decoy animals/corpses, lasers, dogs etc. Firearms are also occasionally employed. A successful approach has been using dogs, particularly Border collies, to scare away birds and wildlife. Another alternative is bird capture and relocation. Trained
Falconry is "the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor". There are two traditional terms used to describe a person involved in falconry: a falconer flies a falcon; an austringer flies a hawk or an eagle...

A falcon is any species of raptor in the genus Falco. The genus contains 37 species, widely distributed throughout Europe, Asia, and North America....

s are sometimes used to harass the bird population, as for example on John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

. At Manchester Airport in England the usual type of falcon used for this is a peregrine falcon
Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon , also known as the Peregrine, and historically as the Duck Hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache"...

/lanner falcon
Lanner Falcon
The Lanner Falcon is a large bird of prey that breeds in Africa, southeast Europe and just into Asia. It is mainly resident, but some birds disperse more widely after the breeding season.-Description:...

 hybrid, as its flight range covers the airport without straying too far. An airport in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 uses electrified mats to reduce the number of worm
The term worm refers to an obsolete taxon used by Carolus Linnaeus and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck for all non-arthropod invertebrate animals, and stems from the Old English word wyrm. Currently it is used to describe many different distantly-related animals that typically have a long cylindrical...

s that attracted large numbers of sea gulls.

Flight path

Pilots have very little training in wildlife avoidance nor is training required by any regulatory agency. However, they should not takeoff or land in the presence of wildlife, avoid migratory routes, wildlife reserves, estuaries and other sites where birds may congregate. When operating in the presence of bird flocks, pilots should seek to climb above 3000 feet (914.4 m) as rapidly as possible as most birdstrikes occur below 3000 feet (914.4 m). Additionally pilots should slow their aircraft when confronted with birds. The energy that must be dissipated in the collision is approximately the relative kinetic energy
Kinetic energy
The kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes...

 () of the bird, defined by the equation where is the mass and is the relative velocity (the difference of the velocities of the bird and the plane if they are flying in the same direction and the sum if they are flying towards each other). Therefore the speed of the aircraft is much more important than the size of the bird when it comes to reducing energy transfer in a collision. The same can be said for jet engines: the slower the rotation of the engine, the less energy which will be imparted onto the engine at collision.

The body density of the bird is also a parameter that influences the amount of damage caused.

The US Military Aviation Hazard Advisory System uses a Bird Avoidance Model based on data from the Smithsonian Institution, historical patterns of bird strikes and radar tracking of bird activity. This model has been extremely successful. Prior to flight USAF pilots check for bird activity on their proposed low level route or bombing range. If bird activity is forecast to be high, the route is changed to one of lower threat. In the first year this BAM model was required as a preflight tool, the USAF Air Combat Command experienced a 70% drop in birdstrikes to its mission aircraft.

TNO can stand for:* Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek * Trans-Neptunian object* Tamarindo Airport in Tamarindo, Costa Rica...

, a Dutch R&D Institute, has developed the successful ROBIN (Radar Observation of Bird Intensity) for the Royal Netherlands Airforce. ROBIN is a near real-time monitoring system for flight movements of birds. ROBIN identifies flocks of birds within the signals of large radar systems. This information is used to give Air Force pilots warning during landing and take-off. Years of observation of bird migration with ROBIN have also provided a better insight into bird migration behaviour, which has had an influence on averting collisions with birds, and therefore on flight safety. Since the implementation of the ROBIN system at the Royal Netherlands Airforce the number of collisions between birds and aircraft in the vicinity of military airbases has decreased by more than 50%.

There are no civil aviation counterparts to the above military strategies. Some experimentation with small portable radar units has taken place at some airports. However, no standard has been adopted for radar warning nor has any governmental policy regarding warnings been implemented.


The Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 estimates the problem costs US aviation 600 million dollars
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 annually and has resulted in over 200 worldwide deaths since 1988. In the United Kingdom, the Central Science Laboratory estimates that, worldwide, the cost of birdstrikes to airlines is around US$1.2 billion annually. This cost includes direct repair cost and lost revenue opportunities while the damaged aircraft is out of service. Estimating that 80% of bird strikes are unreported, there were 4,300 bird strikes listed by the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 and 5,900 by US civil aircraft in 2003.

The first reported bird strike was by Orville Wright
Wright brothers
The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur , were two Americans credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903...

 in 1905, and according to the Wright Brothers' diaries Orville … flew 4,751 meters in 4 minutes 45 seconds, four complete circles. Twice passed over fence into Beard's cornfield. Chased flock of birds for two rounds and killed one which fell on top of the upper surface and after a time fell off when swinging a sharp curve.

French pilot Eugene Gilbert
Eugene Gilbert
Sous Lieutenant Eugene Gilbert was a World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories. He had also been a famous pioneer Pre-war racing pilot flying to many countries throughout Europe....

 in 1911 encountered an angry mother eagle over the Pyrenees Mountains
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 enroute from Paris to Madrid during the great aviation race held that year between those two cities. The bird feared for the safety of her young which were perched high in a nest in the mountains and as Gilbert flew past she thought he was a predator. Gilbert flying a Bleriot XI
Blériot XI
The Blériot XI is the aircraft in which, on 25 July 1909, Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel made in a heavier-than-air aircraft . This achievement is one of the most famous accomplishments of the early years of aviation, and not only won Blériot a lasting place in...

 open cockpit was able to ward off the large bird by firing pistol shots at her but not killing her.

The first recorded bird strike fatality was reported in 1912 when aero-pioneer Cal Rodgers collided with a gull which became jammed in his aircraft control cables. He crashed at Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, was pinned under the wreckage and drowned.

The greatest loss of life directly linked to a bird strike was on October 4, 1960, when Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines was a major United States airline that existed from 1926 to 1991. Before its dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida.-History:...

 Flight 375
Eastern Air Lines Flight 375
Eastern Air Lines Flight 375, registration N5533, was a Lockheed L-188 Electra aircraft that crashed on takeoff from Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts on October 4, 1960. 62 of 72 on board were killed in the accident; ten survived, nine with serious injuries.N5533 and its crew...

, a Lockheed L-188 Electra
Lockheed L-188 Electra
The Lockheed Model 188 Electra is an American turboprop airliner built by Lockheed. First flying in 1957, it was the first large turboprop airliner produced in the United States. Initial sales were good, but after two fatal crashes which prompted an expensive modification program to fix a design...

 flying from Boston, flew through a flock of common starlings during take off, damaging all four engines. The plane crashed shortly after take-off into Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

 harbor, with 62 fatalities out of 72 passengers. Subsequently, minimum bird ingestion standards for jet engines were developed by the FAA.

In 1988 Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604
Ethiopian Airlines Flight 604 was a scheduled Bahir Dar Airport–Asmara International Airport flight, that caught fire during a belly landing at Bahir Dar Airport , Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, on .-Aircraft:...

 sucked pigeons into both engines during take-off and then crashed killing 35 passengers.

In 1995, a Dassault Falcon 20
Dassault Falcon 20
The Dassault Falcon 20 is a French business jet and was the first of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation.-Design and development:...

 crashed at a Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 airport during an emergency landing attempt after sucking lapwing
Vanellinae are any of various crested plovers, family Charadriidae, noted for its slow, irregular wingbeat in flight and a shrill, wailing cry. Its length is 10-16 inches. They are a subfamily of medium-sized wading birds which also includes the plovers and dotterels. The Vanellinae are...

s into an engine, which caused an engine failure and a fire in the airplane fuselage
The fuselage is an aircraft's main body section that holds crew and passengers or cargo. In single-engine aircraft it will usually contain an engine, although in some amphibious aircraft the single engine is mounted on a pylon attached to the fuselage which in turn is used as a floating hull...

; all 10 people on board were killed.

On September 22, 1995, a U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry
E-3 Sentry
The Boeing E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system developed by Boeing as the prime contractor. Derived from the Boeing 707, it provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications, and is used by the United States Air Force , NATO, Royal Air Force , French Air Force...

 AWACS aircraft (Callsign Yukla 27, serial number 77-0354), crashed shortly after take off from Elmendorf AFB. The plane lost power to both port side engines after these engines ingested several Canada Geese during takeoff. The aircraft crashed about two miles (3 km) from the runway, killing all 24 crew members on board.

The Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery is one of the retired orbiters of the Space Shuttle program of NASA, the space agency of the United States, and was operational from its maiden flight, STS-41-D on August 30, 1984, until its final landing during STS-133 on March 9, 2011...

 also hit a bird (a vulture) during the take-off of STS-114
-Original crew:This mission was to carry the Expedition 7 crew to the ISS and bring home the Expedition 6 crew. The original crew was to be:-Mission highlights:...

 on July 26, 2005, although the collision occurred early during take off and at low speeds, with no obvious damage to the shuttle.

NASA astronaut Theodore Freeman
Theodore Freeman
Theodore Cordy Freeman was a NASA astronaut and a captain in the United States Air Force. He was killed in the crash of a T-38 jet, marking the first fatality among the American astronaut corps...

 was killed when a goose shattered the plexiglass cockpit of his T-38 Talon
T-38 Talon
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a twin-engine supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2011 in air forces throughout the world....

, resulting in shards being ingested by the engines, leading to a fatal crash.

Aircraft continue to be lost routinely to birdstrikes. In the fall of 2006, the USAF lost a twin engine T-38
The T-38 amphibious scout tank was a Soviet amphibious light tank that saw service in World War II.-History:Designed in 1934–36 by N. Astrov's bureau at Factory No. 37 in Moscow, the T-38 was a development of the earlier T-37, based in turn on the French AMR 33 light reconnaissance tank. The tank...

 trainer to a bird strike (ducks) and in October 2007, the US Navy lost a T-45 jet trainer in a collision with a bird.

In the summer of 2007, Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 suffered an incident in Rome, Italy, as one of its Boeing 767
Boeing 767
The Boeing 767 is a mid-size, wide-body twin-engine jet airliner built by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It was the manufacturer's first wide-body twinjet and its first airliner with a two-crew glass cockpit. The aircraft features two turbofan engines, a supercritical wing, and a conventional tail...

 aircraft, on takeoff, ingested yellow legged gulls into both engines. Although the aircraft returned to Rome safely, both engines were damaged and had to be changed. United Air Lines suffered a twin engine bird ingestion by a Boeing 767 on departure from Chicago's O'Hare Field in the spring of 2007. One engine caught fire and bird remains were found in the other engine.

Virgin America
Virgin America
Virgin America, Inc. is a United States-based low-cost airline that began service on August 8, 2007. The airline's stated aim is to provide low-fare, high-quality service for "long-haul point-to-point service between major metropolitan cities on the Eastern and West Coast seaboards." San Francisco...

 Flight 837 performed an emergency landing at San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco International Airport is a major international airport located south of downtown San Francisco, California, United States, near the cities of Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It is often referred to as SFO...

 on September 3, 2007 due to a bird strike. The plane involved was "Air Colbert", named for host of The Colbert Report Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...


On April 29, 2007, a Thomsonfly
Thomsonfly was a British airline, previously known as Britannia and a business within TUI UK prior to September 2007. Following TUI UK merging with First Choice Holidays in September 2007 it became part of TUI Travel PLC...

 Boeing 757
Boeing 757
The Boeing 757 is a mid-size, narrow-body twin-engine jet airliner manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Passenger versions of the twinjet have a capacity of 186 to 289 persons and a maximum range of , depending on variant and cabin configuration...

 from Manchester Airport, UK suffered a bird strike when at least one bird, supposedly a heron
The herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds in the family Ardeidae. There are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called "egrets" or "bitterns" instead of "heron"....

, was ingested by an engine. The plane landed safely back at the airport. The incident was captured by 2 plane spotters on opposite sides of the airport, as well as the emergency calls picked up by a plane spotter's radio. The videos were later published.

On November 10, 2008, Ryanair Flight 4102
Ryanair Flight 4102
Ryanair Flight 4102 was a flight operated by a Boeing 737-8AS, registered EI-DYG, from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany, to Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy, that, on 10 November 2008 suffered multiple bird strikes...

 from Frankfurt to Rome made an emergency landing
Emergency landing
An emergency landing is a landing made by an aircraft in response to a crisis which either interferes with the operation of the aircraft or involves sudden medical emergencies necessitating diversion to the nearest airport.-Types of emergency landings:...

 at Ciampino Airport
Ciampino Airport
-Access:There is no rail transport at Ciampino Airport. There are direct bus connections both to Roma Termini railway station and to close local stations...

 after multiple bird strikes put both engines out of commission. After touchdown, the left main landing gear
Landing Gear
Landing Gear is Devin the Dude's fifth studio album. It was released on October 7, 2008. It was his first studio album since signing with the label Razor & Tie. It features a high-profile guest appearance from Snoop Dogg. As of October 30, 2008, the album has sold 18,906 copies.-Track...

 collapsed, and the aircraft briefly veered off the runway. Passengers and crew were evacuated through the starboard emergency exits.

On January 4, 2009, a bird strike is suspected in the crash of a PHI S-76 helicopter in Louisiana. Early reports point to a bird impacting the windscreen and retarding the throttles, leading to the death of 7 of the 8 persons on board.

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549 was US Airways' scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina...

 from LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally...

 to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
Charlotte Douglas International Airport is a joint civil-military public international airport located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Established in 1935 as Charlotte Municipal Airport, in 1954 the airport was renamed Douglas Municipal Airport after former Charlotte mayor Ben Elbert Douglas, Sr...

 ditched into the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 after experiencing a loss of both turbines. It is suspected that the engine failure was caused by running into a flock of geese at an altitude of about 975 m (3,200 feet), shortly after takeoff. All 150 passengers and 5 crew members were safely evacuated after a successful water landing
Water landing
A water landing is, in the broadest sense, any landing on a body of water. All waterfowl, those seabirds capable of flight, and some human-built vehicles are capable of landing in water as a matter of course....

. On May 28, 2010, the NTSB published its final report into the accident.

On September 18, 2009, American Eagle Airlines
American Eagle Airlines
American Eagle Airlines is a brand name used by American Eagle Airlines, Inc. , based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Executive Airlines based in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the operation of passenger air service as regional affiliates of American Airlines. All three airlines are wholly owned subsidiaries...

 Flight 5183 from Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

 to Lawton, Oklahoma
Lawton, Oklahoma
The city of Lawton is the county seat of Comanche County, in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Located in the southwestern region of Oklahoma approximately southwest of Oklahoma City, it is the principal city of the Lawton Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, collided with over 100 pigeons during takeoff. The takeoff was aborted and the aircraft sustained minor damage. 34 whole birds and hundreds of body parts were recovered. The aircraft returned safely to the gate with no injuries.

Bug strike

Flying insect strikes, like bird strikes, have been encountered by pilots since aircraft were invented. In 1911 future Air Force general Henry "Hap" Arnold as a young aviator flying a mile high and not wearing goggles nearly lost control of his Wright Model B
Wright Model B
|-See also:-References:* * * * * * -External links:* *...

after a bug flew in his eye causing distraction.

External links

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