The amazing story of US Airways Flight 1549 crew that helped safely land its jet into a New York river last month is over-shadowing the continuing danger that birds and planes face everyday: Collision.
Most large aircraft can handle up to a 4 pound bird being sucked through its jet engines. But the ever present Canada geese – the suspected culprits in this crash — weigh an average of 10 lbs. See Time Magazine's story: The US Airways Crash: A Growing Bird Hazard
Hudson River US Airways Crash with Audio from Dan Nunan on Vimeo.
By the way, the best animation I've seen of the incident, er shredded geese, is this one from Scene Systems out of Manahattan Beach, CA. It includes a terrific showing of what happened as US Airways Airbus 320 hit the birds just after takeoff at LaGuardia Airport. I found this displayed at the Incisivemedia Legal Tech 2009 technology trade show in New York City this week. See: Info on the animation
Much has been written about bird strikes around airports. I thought Alfred J. Godin's "Birds at airports" was a good overview on the history and prevention attempts.
As much as we love birds at IBRRC, we're glad that everyone onboard US Airways Flight 1549 made it off alive.