Airplane vs. Birds

The image above is scenic only at first glance. Facing a huge flock of birds during takeoff or landing will evoke sweaty palms in most pilots – and passengers probably. Though the majority of birdstrikes cause little damage to a plane, they do result in a great number of bird fatalities and cause annual damages estimated at $400 million in the U.S. alone and $1.2 billion worldwide.

According to a confidential database managed by NASA, the years from 1990 to 2007 saw almost 80,000 reported incidents of birds striking nonmilitary aircraft, resulting in emergency landings, aborted takeoffs or close calls – and these are just the voluntarily reported incidents.

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