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*ATTENTION* Another bird strike

CaptJax

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UA Pilot Aborts Flt From SJC Over Bird Fears

Pilot aborts flight from San Jose over bird fears

Monday, February 16, 2009

(02-16) 12:28 PST San Jose, CA (AP) --

United Airlines officials say a pilot aborted a flight just before takeoff over concern that seagulls had struck one of the plane's engines.

United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said Flight 1220 from San Jose to Denver had reached nearly 140 mph on the runway Monday when the pilot called off the flight.

Urbanski said the pilot was able to shut down the engine before leaving the ground and returned to the gate without incident.

The flight was scheduled to depart Mineta San Jose International Airport at 7:12 a.m.

The plane was taken out of service while investigators worked to confirm that birds had hit the engine. The plane's 97 passengers are being booked on a later flight.
 

CaptJax

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FAA Wants To Keep Bird Strike Records Confidential

Mar 27, 6:46 PM EDT

FAA wants to keep bird strike records confidential

By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing to keep secret from travelers its vast records on where and how often commercial planes are damaged by hitting flying birds.

The government agency argued that some carriers and airports would stop reporting incidents for fear the public would misinterpret the data and hold it against them. The reporting is voluntary because the FAA rejected a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation 10 years ago to make it mandatory.

The agency's formal secrecy proposal came just after FAA officials said they were going to release the huge database to The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The FAA's move to expand secrecy also comes as President Barack Obama is promising a more open government.

"To have the government actually chill public access to safety information is a step backward," said James Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "Public awareness is an essential part of any strong safety program."

Sen. Chuck Schumer and fellow New York Democrat, Rep. John Hall, vice chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, wrote administration officials urging them to abandon the proposal.

"There's no reason to make ... the causes of other accidents public and not this," Schumer said Friday.

"Whether the public should worry is for the public to decide, not FAA," said Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller. D-W.Va, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, advised the FAA he would review any change to ensure travelers and local communities have enough information "to make informed decisions regarding wildlife strikes on aircraft."

After a multiple bird strike forced a US Airways jet to ditch in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, the AP requested access to the bird strike database, which contains more than 100,000 reports of strikes that have been voluntarily submitted since 1990.

In a Feb. 18 conference call, FAA officials promised the AP the agency would turn over the data within days. Since then, the FAA has said the AP's request for the data under the Freedom of Information Act was "under review."

Last Thursday, the FAA quietly published its proposal to keep the data secret in the Federal Register, the government's daily compendium of new and proposed rules and regulations. On Wednesday, after the FAA proposal, Melanie Yohe of the FAA FOIA office told AP that release of the database was "way overdue" and "it should be with you right now." She said there is "no reason for it to take this long."

The agency's proposal rested on the assumption that some carriers and airports it regulates would allow concerns about their image and profits to override efforts to keep passengers safe.

"The agency is concerned that there is a serious potential that information related to bird strikes will not be submitted because of fear that the disclosure of raw data could unfairly cast unfounded aspersions on the submitter," the FAA wrote.

The FAA is worried the public will compare the data on various airports. "Drawing comparisons between airports is difficult because of the unevenness of reporting," it said. Not only do some airports do better reporting than others, they also face different challenges based on local bird populations, the agency said.

"Inaccurate portrayals of airports and airlines could have a negative impact on their participation in reporting bird strikes," FAA added.

"It sounds like the FAA is going back to their early 1990s view that their job is to promote the carriers and look out for their bottom line," said Mary Schiavo, former Transportation Department inspector general. "They were criticized for that and then said they also were concerned with safety, but this sounds like they're reverting to being cheerleaders for the industry."

"In this case, secrecy is going to kill," added Schiavo, a pilot herself. Since the US Airways incident, businessmen who have had corporate jets damaged by strikes have told Schiavo they want to research the problem; she said the FAA's proposal would hamper that.

The Airports Council International-North America, which represents most U.S. airports, was consulting its members on how to respond to the FAA proposal.

The FAA has rejected another method of dealing with the problem of unequal reporting by airports and airlines.

In 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded voluntary reporting omits many bird strikes so the FAA database "grossly underestimates the magnitude of the problem." Further, the board said "over 50 percent of the reports lack the most critical piece of information about a strike, the species of bird."

As a result, the board recommended that the FAA require that bird strikes be reported. The FAA refused.

Meantime, the FAA acknowledges the problem is growing along with increases in air travel and in the number of dangerous large birds like Canada geese. It said reports of strikes grew from 1,759 in 1990 to 7,666 in 2007.

FAA officials say the loss of both of a jetliner's engines to bird strikes is rare. FAA safety rules do not require that engines continue to produce thrust after a bird strike, only that they not break into pieces if hit by an eight-pound-or-smaller bird.

Two years ago, Richard A. Dolbeer, chairman of the Bird Strike Committee USA, a voluntary group of government officials and industry executives, wrote the safety board about four incidents in 2005-2007 in which both engines of an airliner were damaged - by yellow-legged gulls in Rome, canvasback ducks in Chicago, starlings in Washington, D.C., and doves in Ohio. In a 2005 incident, a Falcon 20 freight aircraft ingested mourning doves into both engines, lost all power, slid through an airport security fence in Ohio and across a highway into a corn field.

Dolbeer said the incidents "show the margins between safety and catastrophe are becoming rather thin."
 

Paul R. Smith

Fender Bender
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Damn Geese woke me up this morning.

:uzi:Birds
 

Fubijaakr

Seniority is Forever
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Enough
"Hey, lets just make the bird strike data secret. That'll fix the problem."
 

gator_hater

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enough
Hey maybe there is a good side to global warming...the geese don;t migrate and stay in Canada, on second thought the Yankees mght also stay out of Florida...
 

CaptJax

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JFK, SMF Lead In Bird Strikes

Apr 24, 10:49 PM EDT


New York, Sacramento airports lead in bird strikes
By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN
Associated Press Writer



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Airplane collisions with birds or other animals have destroyed 28 aircraft since 2000, with New York's Kennedy airport and Sacramento International reporting the most incidents with serious damage, according to Federal Aviation Administration data posted for the first time Friday. And the problem appears to be growing.


The FAA list of wildlife strikes, published on the Internet, details more than 89,000 incidents since 1990, costing 11 people their lives. Most incidents were bird strikes, but deer and other animals have been hit on runways, too.


The situation seems to be getting worse: Airplane collisions with birds have more than doubled at 13 major U.S. airports since 2000, including New Orleans, Houston's Hobby, Kansas City, Orlando and Salt Lake City. Wildlife experts say increasingly birds, particularly large ones like Canada geese, are finding food and living near cities and airports year round rather than migrating.
The figures are known to be far from complete. Even the FAA estimates its voluntary reporting system captures only 20 percent of wildlife strikes. The agency, however, has refused for a decade to adopt a National Transportation Safety Board recommendation to make the reports mandatory.
Friday's first disclosure of the entire FAA database, including the locations of strikes, occurred largely because of pressure following the ditching of a US Airways jet in the Hudson River after bird strikes knocked out both of its engines on Jan. 15. Within days, The Associated Press asked for the database under the Freedom of Information Act.
All 155 people aboard survived that incident as pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger ditched the powerless jet safely. That plane had at least seven earlier collisions with birds since February 2000, including one in March 2002 at Orlando International Airport when it sucked a red-tailed hawk into an engine during a night takeoff. The plane returned to the airport immediately with a damaged engine.
The data revealed one positive trend: strikes that caused major damage dropped noticeably in 2007 and 2008. In 2000, pilots reported 178 such strikes; in 2007 there were 125, and in the first 11 months of 2008 only 85. December 2008 numbers are not yet listed.
There was no immediate explanation from the FAA for the decline in major damage, but the agency tightened engine design standards in 2004 to better withstand bird strikes, and more and more airports engage in wildlife management.
Topping the list of airports where planes were either substantially damaged or destroyed by birds since 2000 were John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York with at least 30 such accidents and Sacramento International Airport in California with at least 28.
Kennedy, the nation's sixth-busiest airport, is located amid wetlands that attract birds. Ron Marsico, spokesman for the port authority that owns JFK, said it has been protected for years by aggressive wildlife management that includes habitat disruption, fireworks and the "killing of thousands of birds each year." He said the agency recently added a wildlife expert to increase vigilance.
Sacramento International, the nation's 40th busiest, lies beneath the Pacific Flyway used by millions of geese, swans, ducks, cranes, raptors and other birds that migrate with the seasons and stop to feed on crops in the farms that abut the airport. Airport spokeswoman Karen Doron said that in 2007 alone the five airports managed by Sacramento County "used loud noises, distress calls and other techniques to disperse more than 53,000 birds from our runway areas."
At Sacramento International on Friday, Dawn Holliman, a 51-year-old real estate agent from Placerville who was flying to Phoenix, said she felt the odds of being in an airplane struck by birds were relatively low. She was more concerned that the government previously withheld the information.
"It's irritating they don't let the public know about the risks," said Holliman.
The FAA had long argued the public couldn't handle the full truth about bird strikes, so it withheld the names of specific airports and airlines involved while releasing only aggregate data. The agency said the public might use the data to "cast unfounded aspersions" on those who reported strikes, and airports and airlines in turn might make fewer reports.
On Friday, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor cautioned "against comparing one airport's bird strike numbers to another airport. If a certain airport is very diligent in reporting these kinds of events, its diligence could make it appear as if it has more bird strikes than an airport that isn't as diligent."
The most recent fatal bird-strike came in October 2007: A student and instructor pilot died when their twin-engine business plane crashed in Browerville, Minn., after it struck a Canada goose during a night training flight. The plane's left engine had been damaged by a bird strike the day before and was repaired the day of the fatal crash.
All told, pilots reported striking at least 59,776 birds since 2000. The most common strikes involved mourning doves; pilots reported hitting 2,291 between 2000 and 2008. Other airborne victims included gulls (2,186), European starlings (1,427) and American kestrels (1,422).
A single United Airlines 737 passenger jet suffered at least 29 minor collisions with birds and one with a small deer - more than any other plane since 2000. Only one case produced significant damage - when the jet climbed out of Philadelphia International Airport into a flock of gulls at 1,000 feet the night of Jan. 30, 2006. The pilot declared an emergency after one engine sucked in a large gull and began vibrating badly. No one was hurt, but repairs cost the airline $37,000.
That same plane experienced incidents in San Francisco; Salt Lake City; San Jose, Calif.; Houston; Denver; Toronto; New Orleans; Chicago, Spokane, Wash, and most recently in Denver.
Since 2000, reported bird strikes have resulted in five fatalities and 93 injuries. The cost of repairs during that period was estimated at more than $267 million in inflation-adjusted dollars, but many of the incident reports contained no estimate of the repair cost.
The largest trade association of U.S. airlines hastened to note that bird strikes "are, of course, rare events,"
"The vast majority of cases result in little or no aircraft damage," the Air Transport Association of America added.
An overwhelming majority of reported strikes - nearly 16,000 - occurred on approach for landing, the data showed. An additional 20,000 were split nearly evenly among takeoff, landing and climbing.
This week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood rejected a proposal quietly advanced by the FAA on March 19 to formally make the data exempt from public disclosure - even as other FAA officials were saying the AP would soon get the records in response to its Freedom of Information Act request.
With President Barack Obama promising a more open government and releasing secret Bush administration legal memos about harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects, LaHood said he found it hard to justify the FAA's plan to withhold records about birds at airports.
 

CaptJax

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JFK Shares Space With Wetlands And Birds

Apr 24, 7:24 PM EDT


JFK airport shares space with wetlands and birds
By RICHARD PYLE
Associated Press Writer




NEW YORK (AP) -- Sprawled along the edge of a giant coastal wetlands area, John F. Kennedy International Airport shares airspace with thousands of birds - many of which wind up as carcasses on the runways after colliding with aircraft.
For the aircraft, the results range from minor to serious.
Federal Aviation Administration data released Friday say the Queens airport has had the most bird incidents with serious damage this decade. The issue has received greater attention since a pilot successfully landed his US Airways Inc. jet in the Hudson River after hitting a flock of birds on takeoff from nearby LaGuardia Airport.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark (N.J.) Liberty International Airport, says it has an "aggressive wildlife management program" that includes disrupting birds' habitats, scaring them with fireworks and even shooting thousands of them each year.
The FAA did not say whether any of the 30 bird mishaps at Kennedy this decade had resulted in human deaths or injuries or to many aircraft being disabled. The Port Authority said aviation experts didn't recall any such incident in recent years.
The Kennedy wetlands area, the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, is one of the largest urban bird sanctuaries in the eastern United States, a 9,000-acre stretch of small islands, salt marshes, fields and forest. It's part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.
Wildlife experts say it's home to more than 325 species of birds, some of them year-round residents and others migratory travelers along the Atlantic Flyway.
The difficulty of bird control around Kennedy was underscored by a 2001 report, by four college professors and two National Park Service officials, saying that during the 1980s the airport had seen "exponential growth" of one species, the laughing gull, from 15 nests to about 7,900.
A shooting program between 1991 and 1998 wiped out 50,000 of the birds, the report said.
The airport with the second-most bird strikes was Sacramento (Calif.) International Airport, which sits in the middle of the Central Valley and lies along the Pacific Flyway, one of the most important bird migration routes in North America.
Earlier this month, a United Airlines flight bound for Chicago returned to the Sacramento airport after hitting a bird during takeoff. The plane was not damaged, and no one was injured.
Sacramento's problems are similar to New York's. Sacramento airport spokeswoman Gina Swankie said wildlife biologists patrol airport property but nearby bird habitat is beyond their control.
Each winter, millions of geese, swans, ducks, cranes, raptors and other birds cross the Central Valley on migration routes between Canada and Mexico.
The airport uses canons and pyrotechnics to keep birds away. Birds that are deemed immediate threats to aircraft can be shot.
John Morrison, who has been a pilot with Delta Air Lines Inc. for 20 years, said most bird strikes go unnoticed unless they're right on the plane's nose or affect the engines. Only twice has he been piloting jets when birds were sucked into the engine, both when he was in the Air Force before joining Delta.
"I've been doing this for 35 years," he said. "You know birds are out there, and you just watch for them.
 

Stifler's Mom

MILF...MILF...MILF
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On the brightside, my mother-in-law is afraid to get on an airplane now because of all the birdstrike reports.

She lives across the country from us.

Happy Days are Here Again!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
 

waka

Emasculating the Right
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Hey maybe there is a good side to global warming...the geese don;t migrate and stay in Canada, on second thought the Yankees mght also stay out of Florida...

If I were a Yankee, I wouldn't want to do training in FL either.
 
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