Three-quarters of bird strikes involve the wing or engines, but they can damage almost any part of an airplane.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT BIRD STRIKES
A number of widespread misconceptions about bird strikes may give pilots a false sense of security and prevent them from reacting appropriately to the threat of a bird strike or an actual event. These misconceptions include:
Birds don’t fly at night.
Birds don’t fly in poor visibility, such as in clouds, fog, rain, or snow.
Birds can detect airplane landing lights and weather radar and avoid the airplane.
Airplane colors and jet engine spinner markings help to repel birds.
Birds seek to avoid airplanes because of aerodynamic and engine noise.
Birds dive to avoid an approaching airplane.
In fact, none of these statements is scientifically proven.
Airports are responsible for bird control and should provide adequate wildlife control measures. If large birds or flocks of birds are reported or observed near the runway, the flight crew should consider:
Delaying the takeoff or landing when fuel permits. Advise the tower and wait for airport action before continuing.
Take off or land on another runway that is free of bird activity, if available.
To prevent or reduce the consequences of a bird strike, the flight crew should:
Discuss bird strikes during takeoff and approach briefings when operating at airports with known or suspected bird activity.
Be extremely vigilant if birds are reported on final approach. If birds are expected on final approach, plan additional landing distance to account for the possibility of no thrust reverser use if a bird strike occurs.