Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bird Strike Statistics

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Grael 23

In follow-up to The Bird Who Feared, Everyone Survives Flock Of Birds and She Who Strikes Fear, Foxnews today reports some statistics on bird strikes (in general and as they pertain to the recent crash of US Airways Flight 1549):

He [Archie Dickey, an associate professor of aviation environmental science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's campus in Prescott, Ariz.] said [bird] hits hard enough to cause a total failure are rare, only happening two or three times a year worldwide.

"That's extremely rare," Dickey said. "The chance of it hitting both engines, I'd guess it is less than 1 percent."

Most bird strikes happen within five miles of an airport, lower than 1,000 feet, as planes are taking off or landing. Aircraft hit thousands of birds every year, but they usually bounce off harmlessly.

The US Airways flight hit the birds at 3,000 feet, the NTSB says. That caused a total engine failure, and the plane hit the river 3 1/2 minutes later.

Not only did everyone miraculously survive Flight 1549, there were no serious injuries as well.

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