161 birds have hit planes at ABIA so far in 2019, already topping last year

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FILE – In this May 8, 2019, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jetliner being built for Turkish Airlines takes off on a test flight in Renton, Wash. Passengers who refuse to fly on a Boeing Max won’t be entitled to compensation if they cancel. However, travel experts think airlines will be very flexible in rebooking passengers of giving them refunds if they’re afraid to fly on a plane that has crashed twice. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin got an update on the number of bird strikes at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Thursday.

A bird strike is anytime a bird hits a plane while in flight.

According to the city’s Aviation Department, 161 birds have hit an airplane within a five-mile radius of ABIA so far this year — already more than 2018 and with at least one full month left of the year.

This year’s total, however, is still a relatively small number since roughly 575 flights come and go at ABIA every day.

According to city data, the mourning dove is the most common bird to hit planes near ABIA. So far this year, pilots in Austin report hitting 37 mourning doves. That’s 30 more than the next identifiable birds which are the barn swallow and cave swallow.

Bird strikes from 2015 to 2018, according to ABIA (ABIA)

In February, the Federal Aviation Administration released a report finding there are more than 40 bird strikes every single day nationwide.

Bird strikes took on added importance after a massive bird strike in January 2009 led to the “Miracle on the Hudson” when pilot Sully Sullenberger landed his incapacitated jet on water, saving every life on board.

Since that 2009 crash, the FAA has worked to increase voluntary bird strike reporting.

City of Austin bird strike data – types of birds hit at ABIA

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