Large commercial jet takes off at sunset with lights on

Bird Hazards to Aircraft

Departure vs. Arrival

Approach:
7.9 Nautical Miles

Departure:
1.5 Nautical Miles

Approaching planes spend the most time in bird zones (Below 3000 ft.)

Most bird strikes happen outside the range of airport countermeasures.

Wildlife Strikes

Takeoff Run
9,931 Bird strikes

Climb
9,000 Bird strikes

Descent
1,816 Bird strikes

Approach
18,883 Bird strikes

Landing Roll
8,532 Bird strikes

The largest number of strikes occur in the approach phase of flight.

Wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States 1990-2005

Flying in the Bird Zone

500 ft.
28,806 Bird Strikes 1,023 (3.6%) causing substantial damage

3,500 ft.
7,469 Bird Strikes 445 (6%) causing substantial damage

3,500+ ft.
2,686 Bird Strikes 85 (3.2%) causing substantial damage

Only 5% of reported strikes with civil aircraft causing substantial damage above 3,500 ft. AGL. Dolbeer’s Rule: Above 500 ft. AGL, bird strikes decline by 32% every 1000 ft.

Cleary, E.C., R.A. Dolbeer, and S.E. Wright, 2003. Wildlife strikes to civil aircraft in the United States, 1990-2002.

Bird Strikes to Civil Aircraft – Night vs. Day

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