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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Current work on bird hazards to aircraft

  • Author(s): Solman, Victor E. F.
  • et al.

Collisions between birds and aircraft have caused loss of human life and millions of dollars worth of property damage. The advent of even larger planes may reduce airframe damage, but it seems doubtful that engine damage will be significantly reduced. Dealing with the problem biologically involves combatting the hazards caused both by birds on or near the ground at airfields, and by birds on mass migrations at altitudes up to several thousand feet above ground. Airports can be designed or altered to minimize their attraction to birds. The chance arrival of a flock of birds must be treated as an emergency with all available equipment and personnel used to ensure quick dispersal. The hazards caused by birds aloft must be dealt with by making it possible for aircraft to avoid the main bird flocks. Warnings of the immediate presence of birds can be given by air traffic control operators trained to recognize birds on their radar. The ability to forecast the probable presence of flocks of birds on migration is now being developed.

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