FAA Aircraft Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft
Safety briefings relative to bird activity are usually given in the spring, when migration and nesting activities resume. However, statistical information from an FAA report of Wildlife Strike to Civil Aircraft (1990-2005) indicates that our attention to the hazards posed by all forms of wildlife should be most focused in late summer and fall. Here are some excerpts: Between 1990 and 2005, there has been a 400% increase in the number of strikes reported annually. Bird strikes peaked in August, September and October. Seventy-five percent of them occurred below 700 feet AGL. Incidents with land-based critters, such as deer, did the most damage from August through November.
Statistically, most encounters with birds happened during daylight (63%), whereas most mammal incidents took place at night (63%). However, the mean percentage of strikes/hour by known time of day for both types was highest at dusk and dawn.
Over the course of the last 16 years this resulted in monetary losses for the aviation community of $556 million annually. And just in case you think you can rise above these risks, please note that the highest reported encounter in the US with a bird was received by the crew of an A320 cruising at 32,500 feet AGL.
To improve the ease of reporting wildlife strikes, they can now be reported via the net (http://wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa.gov) in lieu of the traditional FAA From 5200-7.The full report is titled: Wildlife Strikes to Civil Aircraft in the United States 1991-1997, issued Sept 1998, by the Office of Airport Safety and Standards, Airport Safety & Operations, Washington, DC.