Spring 2018, Issue 7



Spring 2018, Issue 7

Inside this issue:


The 2018 Birdstrike Canada Conference/Training Workshop will be held this October, on the 16th and 17th, in Vaudreuil, Quebec. The program will be comprised of very brief invited and solicited presentations followed by extensive discussions. This year’s topic is “Putting it all together – the making of an airport wildlife management program”.The venue for the conference will be the beautiful Chateau Vaudreuil situated on the shores of Lac des Deux-Montagnes with 25 acres of fabulous gardens. The conference will begin with dinner on October 15th, followed by 2 days of talks and discussion. Accommodation and all meals and conference concessions will be provided in the registration fee.

Stay tuned for more details and for registration information as they become available.

Parliamentary Update

This February 15th, Bird Strike Association of Canada Steering Committee members, Gary Searing, Tim Nohara, and Pierre Molina, met with Parliamentary Secretary for Transport, Ms. Karen McCrimmon, MP Kanata-Carlton, to present our BSAC discussion paper “Rediscovering Leadership by Advancing Safety at Canada’s Airports”.

The paper discusses in depth the issues that are facing wildlife management at airports and how the lack of leadership and support by Transport Canada results in a “safety gap” that exposes the flying public to unacceptable risks. We drew the parallel with Lac Mégantic. Rail transport wasn’t a problem in Transport Canada’s eyes until it became a catastrophe. In those very same ways a “Lac Mégantic”-level disaster could very well occur at an airport unless regulatory standards for all airports are significantly improved with respect to wildlife management. Regulations need to go further, but airports cannot be expected to foot the bill for improved safety because most regional and smaller airports are barely managing to keep the lights on. Transport Canada needs to provide better support for wildlife management at airports starting with circulars that assist airports’ understanding and implementation of regulatory requirements. We pointed out, for example, that audits by auditors with little or no training in airport wildlife management are inadequate to identify the safety gaps. The white paper, as well as detailing the issues, proposes a number of changes to the Canadian Aviation Regulations. The paper will be posted on the website when we are done converting the website to a new platform.


Upcoming Events

BSAC hopes to attend the following conferences this year.

  • BCAC – Whistler, BC, 15-17 May
  • RCAC – Sudbury, ON, 23-24 May
  • SWIFT – Niagara Falls, ON, 10-13 Sept
  • CAQ – Bagotville, QC, 17-19 Sept
  • AMCO – Kenora, ON, 1-3 Oct

Steering Committee Elections

Can’t wait to cast your vote for the next government of Canada but can’t wait until 2019? Well, BSAC offers the opportunity to vote for representatives that will actually do what they promise to do. No lies, no alternative facts, no pretty-boy politics. We just want to represent you and work hard on your behalf. There are a number of Steering Committee seats whose terms are coming to an end this fall. Although we are all volunteers, we are also a democratically run association. Therefore, the members who volunteer to represent you on the Steering Committee are actually elected by you. In fact, YOU can put your name forward (if you are a member of BSAC) to run for a seat on the Steering Committee.
The nomination period is now open. You can nominate yourself and you do not need your nomination seconded. You cannot nominate someone else (this is supposed to be a volunteer position not a draft ?). To nominate yourself, just send your name, current position and employer (if applicable), location (city/province), phone number and a brief description of your experience in the field and why you would like to be part of the Steering Committee to info@canadianbirdstrike.ca Deadline for nominations is May 1st, 2018. The information provided by nominees will be distributed to all members via secure webmail or e-mail and voting will be held online in September 2018. The following positions are up for election:
  • Airports: Atlantic Region
  • Airports: Ontario Region
  • Airports: Prairie/Northern Region
  • Industry 1
  • Industry 2
  • Pilots Rep
  • Chair/Executive Director
As well we have four vacant positions. Left unfilled, these positions will be filled with volunteers for the Steering Committee with the highest number of votes.
  • DND Flight Safety
  • Nav Canada
  • Airline Rep
  • Manufacturer
This is an excellent chance to get more involved in Birdstrike Committee Canada. AND, there are NO losers. Anyone who nominates themselves will have an opportunity to be on an-hoc subcommittees formed around topics that we hope to complete. This is a great opportunity to get more involved, be “in the know” of what is currently happening and meet new friends and colleagues.

Website Resources

If you haven’t been on our website lately (or ever ), you really need to check it out. Start by checking out the news. Airport wildlife news doesn’t happen every day, but when it does you will find it on our website. And members, make sure you create an account and then sign in because if you don’t you are missing out on some of the best parts.

The forum has been slow lately. That is because members like you are not making use of it. Surely there is some dialogue out there amongst airports and practitioners that warrants discussion. Our website has lots about the history of bird strike management in Canada, help on bird strike identification, information of conferences and so much more. And if you don’t find it on our website – let us know so we can put it on there. And you have to be signed into the website to vote for the Steering Committee nominees in September. Get full value for your BSAC membership – go online at canadianbirdstrike.ca

High Altitude Strike For A Pretty Small Bird

By Jul Wojnowski

On October 5, 2017 around 8:20 pm somewhere between 15,000 – 20,000 feet ASL on descent for Edmonton International Airport (YEG), Captain Cameron Law and his flight crew on WJA144 noticed an odour in the cabin and suspected they had suffered a bird strike.  Captain Law’s suspicions were confirmed at EIA as the ground crew found evidence of ingestion in the # 1 engine.  A sample was collected from the fan blades and a boroscope of the engine revealed no damage had occurred.  I was quite surprised upon inspection of the sample to find easily identifiable flight feathers and contour (body) feathers of an American robin, Turdus migratorius (Fig. 1).  I had to reach out to the Captain to confirm the altitude, which he did.

This is the second high altitude robin strike near EIA since 2005, when an RJ100 on descent from Winnipeg had a strike at approximately 8200 feet ASL on October 20, 2005.  Minor damage was incurred as a dent was found on the leading edge of the inboard side of the left wing (Fig. 2).  A snarge sample was sent off to the Smithsonian Institution which was identified as Turdus migratorius.

Most high altitude bird records involve new and old world vultures, cranes, raptors and waterfowl (Fig. 3).  Some hummingbirds and alpine passerines (songbirds) species occur at over 15,000 feet but very few songbirds reach these heights during migration and it is thought that over 99% of bird migration occurs below 10,000 feet.

The vast majority of bird strikes occur below 500 feet.  Dolbeer (2006) observed high altitude strikes in the FAA database were fairly rare.  About 7% of incidents occurred over 3500 feet and the number of strikes declined consistently by a third every 1,000 feet from 501 – 20,500 feet.  The Canadian database for strikes reported to TC above 8000 feet is relatively small and somewhat incomplete.  Not surprisingly, over 80% of these strikes involve unknown species.  What is perhaps more concerning is that a high percentage (approximately 30%) of these strikes involve engine ingestion or have some damage reported.  The months with the highest number of high altitude incidents are May, and July –October.  July and August (the busiest months for strikes in Canada) are well represented in high altitude strikes and the majority of these occur during daylight hours.  The majority of fall (Sep-Oct) high altitude strikes occur at night (8pm – 4am), an extremely busy period across Canada for nocturnal migration.  May is also a very significant month of migratory activity but it is interesting that most high altitude incidents reported occurred in daylight hours.

Species identification in both the FAA and TC databases for high altitude strikes is far from complete so please, send in those samples from high altitude strikes (and all altitudes in fact) and help increase the accuracy of the bird strike database.

Figure 1. American robin feathers collected from fan blades of a B737-600 on October 5, 2017.

Figure 2. Dent and snarge on leading edge of left wing of RJ100 from an American robin strike on Oct 20, 2005.

Figure 3. Altitude (m) reported for some birds.

If you have not yet renewed your membership for 2018, click the link below and make it happen! If you haven’t paid your renewal fees by 1 April, this will be your last newsletter and you will then sit around feeling miserable because you are no longer part of our dynamic and fun organization. Our annual fees are ridiculously low for an association of this kind and we have lots to offer, even discounts on conference registrations and DNA analysis. Heck, you can’t afford not to renew your membership!

In fact, you can save money (and Gary hassling you for your dues) if you take out a 3-year membership. And we just started issuing lovely certificates that you will be proud to hang on your wall to tell the world that you are a proud member of Birdstrike Canada.

Renew your BSAC Membership today!

The Bird Strike Association of Canada (BSAC aka Bird Strike Canada) is a leader in airport wildlife strike prevention.  By fostering dialogue within the industry, the BSAC seeks and advances innovative ideas in aviation safety.  Our mandate includes setting standards, addressing industry issues by formulating effective strategies and implementing change through regulatory means. 
Bird Strike Canada is a strong advocate for what concerns members from every sector of Canadian aviation. Validating research and the implementation of industry developments that support methods of mitigating bird strike risk are keynotes of the association.  An important directive of Bird Strike Canada is developing best practices as well as the standardization of airport wildlife strike prevention data and training. Bird Strike Canada has collected literature on bird strike research from around the world and makes this to all of our members.  Knowledge of effective strategies, policy and technologies assist wildlife managers achieve the best results possible at their airports.






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