Airports

How Often Do Airplanes Hit Deer?, The Atlantic, Feb 15, 2017More than 1,000 deer have been hit by airplanes across the country in the past two decades, according to FAA data. Birds have it much, much worse. They’re struck by airplanes more than any other type of animal.

Plane hits deer while taking off from Charlotte-Douglas Airport, Fox News, Feb 15, 2017A plane has hit a deer departing Charlotte-Douglas International Airport Wednesday afternoon, according to FAA officials. FAA officials said that PSA Airlines 5320, a CRJ 700 aircraft returned to the airport about 12:15 p.m. after declaring an emergency. The crew reported striking a deer on take off from Runway 36 Center shortly before noon. Fire crews were on scene after fuel from the plane began to leak onto the runway.
Recommended Wildlife Exclusion Fencing, Federal Aviation Administration National Part 139 CertAlert, Aug 3, 2016Deer are responsible for 92% of the mammal strikes that resulted in damage. From 1990 to 2015, over 1,107 deer-aircraft collisions and 487 coyote-aircraft collisions were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Of these reports, 932 of the deer strikes (84%) and 43 of the coyote strikes (9%) indicated the aircraft was damaged as a result of the collision.

Small plane hits deer, flips during landing in Keene, WMUR, May 11, 2016The plane flipped over off the side of the runway after striking the deer. The two people on board suffered what were described as minor injuries and were not taken to a hospital.

Deer blamed for plane accident in Kingman County, Kake.com Nov 9, 2015The Kansas Highway Patrol said a pilot was trying to take off from the Kingman Airport late Monday. A deer ran in front of the plane, struck the front tire and tore it off. The single engine plane went to the north side of the runway and overturned.

Plane hits deer, General Aviation News, Nov 6, 2015The pilot reported that during the flare for landing at the airport in Burwell, Neb., a deer ran towards the Piper PA-28-181 from his left side. He tried to raise the left wing to clear the deer. The left main landing gear hit the deer and the gear separated from the wing.

Watertown airport attempts to minimize collisions with deer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Aug29, 2015In Watertown, a city of about 24,000 about 50 miles northwest of Milwaukee, so many white-tailed deer were showing up at the 360-acre airport that a year ago, after securing the proper permissions, officials asked a sharpshooter to come in and thin the herd. A year later, the sharpshooter has taken 21 deer off the property.

Eliminating the deer problem in places like Watertown is difficult. Nature continues to do a great job replenishing the population. “We had a lot of (deer) twins out on the airport this year,” said Krys Brown, facilities manager at the Watertown airport.

Deer prove dangerous to airports and pilots. PBS Newshour, Sept 24, 2014Whether driven by hunger or just crazy for love, deer will do seemingly anything to get onto airport grounds and runways, including leaping over tall fences or squeezing under them. Once there, they like to warm themselves by sauntering on runways, which hold heat longer than bare ground. But put a deer and a plane together on a runway and both can have a very bad day.

From 1990 to 2013, there were 1,088 collisions between planes and deer, elk, moose and caribou, according to a recent joint report by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Agriculture Department.

NTSB details Learjet’s emergency landing after collision with deer, Fifty Shades of Sky, Sept 6, 2015The pilot reported that during the takeoff roll, while accelerating through 130 knots, a “faint bump” was felt. The flight crew continued the takeoff and experienced extreme difficulty controlling the airplane. They headed over Lake Michigan to avoid any built-up areas. By adjusting the airspeed the crew were able to stabilize the airplane in flight. At 160 knots the aircraft wanted to roll right but above that airspeed the crew were able to keep the wings level. The flight crew diverted to Toledo-Express Airport, Ohio and performed a high-speed landing without incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.
Following the accident, a deer was found on the runway at the departure airport. The departure airport perimeter is partially fenced and co-exists on an island with a nature conservancy.

The FAA’s Wildlife Strike Database shows two other occurrences at Grosse Ile Municipal Airport involving a deer. In October 2002 a Piper PA-28 impacted a deer on takeoff, causing a fuel leak from the tank drain fitting and a dent in the fuel tank. In January 2006 a Piper PA-34 Seneca sustained substantial damage when it impacted a white-tailed deer with the right hand prop during takeoff.

Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing After Hitting Deer, WNEP.com, March 18, 2015A small plane had to make an emergency landing in Lycoming County Wednesday night after the pilot said he hit a deer on takeoff. Officials said the two-passenger plane was leaving the Northumberland County Airport around 8:30 p.m. and hit a deer on the runway during takeoff.

Pilot Crashes into Deer on Vinton Airport Runway, KCRG.com, April 3, 2014John now has his hands full with a mangled airplane. The plane, perhaps, means a bit more than others. Stiegelmeyer built it. As John’s pilot friends examine the damage, they know it’s tough for him.

Airplane collides with deer at Huntingburg Airport, DuBois County Free Press, Dec 20, 2013“We were lucky because the pilot was able to keep the aircraft on the runway after hitting the deer,” said McQueen who estimated the plane was still slowing from about 100 knots (115 mph) when it struck the deer.

Lawsuit filed over accident caused by deer on Oconee airport runway, Independent Mail, April 11, 2012Randolph M. James of Winston-Salem, N.C. filed the lawsuit against Oconee County last week claiming negligence stemming from an April 2010 collision involving James’ plane and several deer.

The suit says the incident could have been avoided had Oconee County taken steps to keep deer off the Oconee County Regional Airport runways or at least provided pilots with more warning. The suit also says Oconee County had failed to report to the Federal Aviation Administration previous incidents of planes hitting deer on takeoff or landing.

NTSB Identification: ERA10LA247, National Transportation Safety Board, April 10, 2010The pilot planned to obtain his air traffic control clearance once he was airborne. He turned on the landing light, which was mounted on the nose landing gear, and took the runway for takeoff. He applied full power and released the brakes. When the airplane was at a speed that the pilot estimated to be between 50 and 65 knots, the pilot saw approximately four to six “brown animals” traveling from left to right across the airplane’s path. He felt a thump on the airplane’s left wing and “instinctively pulled back” on the control column to avoid additional impacts.

Deer on Airports: An Accident waiting to happen, 1998Airports should adopt a “zero tolerance” for deer within the operations area. Deer removal by professional shooters, in conjunction with permanent exclusion with 3 m high fencing, is the preferred management action.

Deer on Pennsylvania Airfields: Problems and Means of Control, Wildlife Society Bulletin, Winter, 1982

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