Bird strikes on planes

Birds and planes don’t mix all that well. A bird flying into a plane can cause some very serious damage to the plane, endangering the lives of those on board. Sadly, it doesn’t do much for the bird either.

While there have been few serious bird strikes on planes in Australia in recent years, they still number in the hundreds of incidents annually. Worldwide the cost is estimated to be over $US3 billion. The article I read about this made no mention of how many birds are killed annually in this way. The toll must be enormous.

The most common bird strikes on planes at the Melbourne Airport are, in order:

  • Common Starlings
  • Australian Magpies
  • Ravens
  • Pigeons
  • Straw-Necked Ibis

Alarmingly, in recent years there have been three incidents involving emus and planes. Presumably these were on the ground during landing or take-off. As yet, I’ve not heard of any flying emus.



4 Responses to “Bird strikes on planes”

  1. John Tongue says:

    A few rears back we flew in a light plane from Mt. Isa to Adel’s Grove, at LAwn Hill NP. As we were landing on the little dirt strip, a group of Australian Bustards took off beside the plane. Left us wondering what might have been!!

  2. Trevor says:

    A scary thought indeed John. Not only would it have been a tick for me – it was potentially a big thump on the plane.

    For those not familiar with this species they are a turkey sized bird of the Australian inland regions.

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