WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal data reveal at least one positive
trend when it comes to wildlife collisions with planes.
The number of collisions at 13 major airports more than doubled
since 2000. But, the Federal Aviation Administration reports
strikes that have caused major damage have about halved in that
There's no explanation from the FAA on the drop from 178 such
strikes in 2000 to 85 in the first 11 months of 2008. But, in 2004
the agency tightened engine design standards to better withstand
All told, pilots reported striking nearly 60,000 birds since
2000. But, the FAA estimates its voluntary reporting system only
captures about one in five wildlife collisions. The cost of repairs
from those who reported it was estimated at more than $267 million
in inflation-adjusted dollars.
The first disclosure of the FAA bird strike database happened
largely after pressure over the dramatic ditching of a US Airways
jet on the Hudson River.