BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA
Understanding and reducing bird and other wildlife hazards to aircraft
Updated 10 May 2013
WHY IS THERE A BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA?
Bird and other wildlife strikes to aircraft annually cause well over $700 million in damage to U.S. civil and military aviation. Furthermore, these strikes put the lives of aircraft crew members and their passengers at risk: over 250 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes since 1988. Within the United States there was no one forum where information or concerns dealing with this problem could be addressed. Bird Strike Committee USA was formed in 1991 to facilitate the exchange of information, promote the collection and analysis of accurate wildlife strike data, promote the development of new technologies for reducing wildlife hazards, promote professionalism in wildlife management programs on airports through training and advocacy of high standards of conduct for airport biologists and bird patrol personnel, and be a liaison to similar organizations in other countries.
Bird Strike Committee USA is a volunteer organization directed by a 10- to 15-person steering committee consisting of 2-3 members each from the Federal Aviation Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, aviation industry/airlines, and airports.
WHEN AND WHERE DOES BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA MEET?
The organization meets annually in conjunction with the Bird Strike Association of Canada.
· The 2008 meeting was 18-21 August in Orlando, Florida USA.
· The 2009 meeting was 14-17 September in Victoria, BC Canada
· The 2010 meeting was 21-24 June in Salt Lake City, Utah USA.
· The 2011 meeting was 12-15 September in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada.
· The 2012 meeting was 13-16 August in Memphis, Tennessee USA.
· The 2013 meeting will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA, 13-16 August.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA MEETING?
There typically are four parts to a Bird Strike Committee USA meeting over 3 ½ days. Part 1 is practical classroom and field training sessions on wildlife control at airports which cover both civil and military aviation. Part 2 consists of the presentation of technical papers and posters. Part 3 is exhibits and demonstrations with vendors. Part 4 is a field trip which generally covers the host airport or a wildlife management area to observe management programs and habitat issues related to wildlife and aviation safety.
WHAT SUBJECT AREAS ARE COVERED DURING THE PAPERS AND REPORTS PORTION OF THE MEETING?
· wildlife strike reporting/statistics in relation to safety management
ARE THERE ANY BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA PUBLICATIONS?
Attendees of the annual meetings receive abstracts of the technical papers presented and a list of all attendees and addresses. Click here to locate abstracts from past meetings. PDF files of many of the presentations at the 2006 meeting are available by clicking here. Technical presentations from the 2008 and 2010 meeting have been published in the science journal, Human-Wildlife Conflicts (Third issues of 2009 and 2011 Volumes). Click here for presentations at the 2012 meeting in Memphis.
WHO ATTENDS BIRD STRIKE COMMITTEE USA MEETINGS?
Participation in the annual meetings is open to any person interested in reducing wildlife hazards to aviation and in wildlife and environmental management at airports. As examples, people from the following organizations have attended recent meetings:
· Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association
DID YOU KNOW THAT?
· Over 250 people have been killed world-wide as a result of bird strikes since 1988.
· Bird and other wildlife strikes cost USA civil aviation over $700 million/year, 1990-2012.
· About 4,800 bird strikes were reported by the U.S. Air Force in 2012.
· About 10,900 bird and other wildlife strikes were reported for USA civil aircraft in 2012.
· From 1990-2012, USA airlines reported 47 incidents in which pilots had to dump fuel to lighten load during a precautionary or emergency landing after striking birds on takeoff or climb. An average of 12,615 gallons of jet fuel was released in each of these dumps.
· Waterfowl (30%), gulls (22%), raptors (20%), and pigeons/doves (7%) represented 79% of the reported bird strikes causing damage to USA civil aircraft, 1990-2012.
· Over 1,030 civil aircraft collisions with deer and 400 collisions with coyotes were reported in the USA, 1990-2012.
· In 1890, about 60 European starlings were released in Central Park, New York City. Starlings are now the second most abundant bird in North America with a late-summer population of over 150 million birds. Starlings are "feathered bullets", having a body density 27% higher than herring gulls.
· The North American non-migratory Canada goose population increased about 4 fold from 1 million birds in 1990 to over 3.5 million in 2012. About 1,400 Canada geese strikes with civil aircraft have been reported in USA, 1990-2012; 42% of these strike events involved multiple birds.
· A 12-lb Canada goose struck by a150-mph aircraft at lift-off generates the kinetic energy of a 1,000-lb weight dropped from a height of 10 feet.
· The North American population of greater snow geese increased from about 90,000 birds in 1970 to over 1,000,000 birds in 2012.
· The nesting population of bald eagles in the contiguous USA increased from fewer than 400 pairs in 1970 (2 years before DDT and similar chlorinated-hydrocarbon insecticides were banned) to over 14,000 pairs in 2012. From 1990-2012, 155 bald eagle strikes with civil aircraft were reported in USA. Mean body mass of bald eagles = 9.1 lbs (male); 11.8 lbs (female).
· The Great Lakes cormorant population increased from only about 200 nesting adults in 1970 to over 200,000 nesting adults in 2012, a 1,000-fold increase.
· The North American white pelican populations increased 6-fold from 1966-2011.
· Several species of gulls have adapted to urban environments. At least 15,000 gulls were counted nesting on roofs in USA cities on the Great Lakes during a survey in 1994.
· About 90% of all bird strikes in the U.S. are by species federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
From 1990-2012, 482 different species of birds
and 42 species of terrestrial mammals were involved in strikes with civil
aircraft in USA that were reported to the FAA.
For further information contact:
John Ostrom, Chair,