Small Streams

A Deadly Perimeter
December 11, 2007, 10:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Thursday’s Trib had an interesting story about wildlife management at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. Working with the USDA, the airport will devise a plan to keep wildlife away from the airport. No small matter, since the FAA has had reports of 106 bird strikes since 1990, and usually only 20 percent of incidents are reported.

 Among the most serious bird and animal strikes at Pittsburgh, according to the USDA and FAA records:      

March 6, 2004 — An Airbus A300 aborted takeoff after a short-eared owl went into the engine. The aircraft sustained serious damage.

 October 2005 — An Airbus A320 aborted takeoff after striking a hawk. Oct. 5, 2006 — A Bombardier RJ 100 passenger jet hit a coyote during takeoff.

 A coyote?!  But wait, there’s more . . .A P-G article describes incidents with deer. 

 Over the past 20 years, there have been several incidents in which planes hit deer, according to Brad Penrod, airport authority executive director. Penrod has seen propellers damaged on a turboprop plane and a deer carcass propelled into a small plane’s cockpit.     

  So . . . the safest airport ecology is no ecology.  

[Penrod also said,] the airport will institute habitat modification programs to regulate grass height near runways, increase patrols to deter wildlife from congregating near sensitive areas and deter wildlife from being on airport grounds, he said.     

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The comic strip “Mark Trail” had a storyline about the issue of wildlife near airports recently. I think it was resolved some way that both preserved animal habitats and allowed the airport to expand. Too bad life isn’t like the comics.

Comment by cynthiacloskey

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