BIRD strikes are the number one cause of damage to planes and risk to passengers Australia’s crash investigator has found in its latest report.
In its report, Australia Aviation Wildlife Strike Statistics 2006-15 , The Australia Transport Safety Bureau found that strikes have increased significantly over the past two years and continue to pose a safety risk to aircraft operators.
Between 2006 and 2015, there were 16,069 bird strikes reported to the ATSB, most of which involved high capacity air transport aircraft.
Both the number and rate of bird strikes per 10,000 movements in high capacity operations have increased markedly in the past two years 2014 – 2015.
The report found that were 1,977 bird strikes and 53 ground-based animal strikes in 2015 and most of these occurrences involved high capacity air transport aircraft.
The ATSB said that “the wildlife strike rate for six of the ten major airports increased markedly in the past two years, relative to the ten-year average.
Ground-based animal strikes were relatively rare.
The most common ground animals struck by aircraft were hares and rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies, and dogs and foxes. Damaging animal strikes mostly involved kangaroos, wallabies and livestock.
Domestic high capacity aircraft were those most often involved in bird strikes, and the bird strike rate per aircraft movement for these aircraft was significantly higher than all other categories.
The number of engine bird ingestions for high capacity air transport operations had been increasing until 2011, but has since decreased slightly.
Still, about one in ten bird strikes for turbofan aircraft involved a bird ingested into an engine.
The four most commonly struck types of flying animal in the 2014 to 2015 period were: bats/flying foxes, Swallow/Martins, Kites, and Lapwings/Plovers.
Geoffrey Thomas, PerthNow
January 31, 2017 5:43pm