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«Jukka-Pekka Nikolajeff Trafin tutkimuksia Trafis undersökningsrapporter Trafi Research Reports 7/2014 Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014 Analysis of the Bird ...»

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3.3 Types of Aircraft and Engines Out of the total of 172 bird strikes reported in the year 2000, 115 (67%) happened to turbofan aircraft, 34 (20%) to turbo propeller aircraft, and 16 (9%) to aircraft with reciprocating engines. The remaining six (3%) strikes occurred to helicopters. Only in one report (1%), the aircraft type was unknown. These results are shown in Figure

3.1. In all, 30 different aircraft types were involved in bird strikes in the year 2000.

Most of the strikes, 45 (26%), happened to DC9 aircraft. 17 (10%) strikes occurred to AT72 aircraft and 14 (8%) to MD83 aircraft. The exact division of bird strikes by aircraft type is shown in Tables A1.3 and A1.6.

Unfortunately, not all aircraft types have been followed in Finavia Corporation’s statistics on aircraft movements at Finnish airports. For example, data on movements by DC9 aircraft, which caused the largest number of bird strike reports in the year 2000, were missing. AT72, which had the second largest share of the reports, had a total of 53,671 take-offs and landings in Finland and 17 reported bird strikes. This gives a probability of 0.03% for bird strikes when operating with AT72. Details on MD83 aircraft movements were also missing.

In the year 2006, the total number of bird strikes was 145. Of them 109 (75%) happened to turbofan aircraft, 27 (19%) to turbo propeller aircraft, 5 (3%) to aircraft with reciprocating engines and 4 (3%) to helicopters. The type of aircraft and engine was identified in every report. These results are shown in Figure 3.A total of 36 different aircraft types were involved in bird strikes in year 2006. Most of the strikes, 16 (11%), occurred to A320 aircraft. The second was B757 with 14 (10%) bird strike reports and the third AT72 with 11 (8%) reports. All aircraft types involved in bird strikes in the year 2006 are shown in Tables A1.4 and A1.6.

Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014 A320 aircraft had a total of 68,334 take-offs and landings in Finland in the year

2006. This gives a probability of 0.02% for a bird strike. B757 aircraft had 9,371 take-offs and landings in Finland, which corresponds to a bird strike probability of over 0.1%. AT72 aircraft took off and landed in Finland for 34,972 times, with a probability of 0.03% for a bird strike.

Out of the 222 bird strikes in 2011, 169 (76%) happened to turbofan aircraft, 25 (11%) to turbo propeller aircraft, 8 (4%) to reciprocating-engine aircraft and the remaining five (2%) to helicopters. In 2011, the aircraft type was not given or was unknown in 15 reports (7%). These results are also shown in Figure 3. Bird strikes were reported for 32 different aircraft types. Most of them, 30 (14%), happened to the type ERJ-190. A320 aircraft were involved in 26 reports (12%). Third place was shared between A319 and B757, which were both involved in 25 (11%) of the bird strikes reported in year 2011. The exact distribution of bird strikes by aircraft type in year 2011 is shown in Tables A1.5 and A1.6.

For ERJ-190 aircraft, the probability to hit a bird was over 0.1% out of 24,470 takeoffs and landings. A320 aircraft took off and landed for 65,928 times during year 2011, which gives a probability of 0.04% for a bird strike. Third place was shared by the aircraft types A319 and B757. The movements of A319 aircraft were not separated in Finavia Corporation’s data. B757 aircraft had 7,316 take-offs and landings, which means a bird strike probability of over 0.3%.

Figure 3.2.

shows the probability of bird strikes by aircraft category (number of bird strikes divided by the number of aircraft movements). It is interesting to see that helicopters have a surprisingly high probability of hitting a bird. The results are about the same as for turbopropeller aircraft, and in the year 2011, the figure for helicopters was even higher.

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

–  –  –

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

3.4 Time of Day When the Bird Strikes Occurred In the year 2000, 130 bird strikes (76%) out of the total of 172 occurred in daytime between 06:00 – 18:00 local time LT, while 35 (20%) occurred in the evening or at night between 18:00 – 06:00 LT. In seven reports (4%), the time of day was not given or was unknown. The results are shown in Figure 4.

Out of the total of 145 bird strike reports received in the year 2006, 108 (74%) occurred in daytime between 06:00 – 08:00 LT. 15 (10%) occurred in the evening or at night between 18:00 – 06:00 LT. The time was not given or it was unknown in 22 (15%) reports. The results are shown in Figure 4.

In the year 2011, 137 bird strikes (62%) out of the total of 222 occurred in daytime between 06:00 – 18:00 LT, and 71 (32%) occurred in the evening or at night between 18:00 – 06:00 LT. In 14 reports (6%), the time was not given or was unknown. The results are shown in Figure 4.

Unfortunately, time data for aircraft movements is missing. The number of take-offs and landings is significantly higher between 06:00 – 18:00 than between 18:00 – 06:00. Figure 4 therefore shows only the number of bird strikes, not the probability.

–  –  –

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

3.5 Phase of Flight When the Bird Strikes Occurred Out of the 172 bird strikes reported in the year 2000, 71 (41%) occurred during approach, 32 (19%) during landing roll and 12 (7%) during cruise flight. In 57 reports (33%), the phase of flight was not given or was unknown, or the bird strike was only detected after the aircraft had been parked. (Figure 5).





In the year 2006, the total number of bird strikes was 145. Of them 46 (32%) took place during approach, 26 (18%) during landing roll, 21 (14%) during initial climb, 29 (20%) during take-off run and 20 (14%) during cruise. Only in 3 (2%) of the reports, the phase of flight was marked as unknown. (Figure 5).

Of the total of 222 bird strikes reported in 2011, 95 (43%) occurred during approach, 24 (11%) during landing roll and 42 (19%) during take-off or initial climb (Figure 5). Of the remaining bird strikes, 34 (15%) occurred during take-off run and 7 (3%) during cruise flight, and one bird strike was reported to have happened during the taxi phase. In 19 of the reports (9%), the phase of flight was not given or was unknown, or the bird strike had been detected only after the aircraft was parked.

–  –  –

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

3.6 Damage to Aircraft and Effect on the Flight In the year 2000, out of the total of 172 bird strikes, 12 (7%) were reported to have caused some damage to the aircraft. In six (50%) of the cases where some damage was reported, it was so significant that it had influenced the flight and forced it either to land as soon as possible or to return to the airport of departure. In five (40%) of the cases the damage was minor and had no effect on the flight. In one case (10%) some damage was reported, but it was not stated whether it had an effect on the flight or not. In all, 160 (93%) of the bird strikes reported did not cause any damage to the aircraft.

Of the total of 145 bird strikes reported in 2006, some damage was mentioned in eight (6%) cases. There were no reports about any effects on the flight, such as an immediate landing or returning back to the departure airport. 137 (94%) of the bird strikes reported did not cause any damage to the aircraft.

In the year 2011, some damage was reported in 11 (5%) of the 222 bird strikes. In all of these reports, the bird strike had some influence on the flight. In eight (4%) cases the bird strike had no effect on the flight. There are some inaccuracies in the reported figures, because there were only 11 reports that informed about some damage, but in 19 reports it was stated that the bird strike had caused some effect on the flight. A total of 211 (95%) of the bird strike reports stated that there was no damage to the aircraft.

Among the bird strikes analysed only one was fatal. This was a glider accident which happened in Spain in 2011. In this accident, a Finnish glider was hit by a Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), weighing approximately 10 kg. The glider’s fin was so badly damaged that the pilot lost control of the glider, which crashed into the ground causing the loss of two lives. The accident is currently under investigation by the Spanish Accident Investigation Board.

Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014

3.7 Weather Weather details were indicated very well in the reports for year 2000. Out of the total of 172 bird strikes, 59 (34%) occurred in good weather when the sky was clear, 72 (42%) when the sky was partly cloudy and 37 (22%) when the sky was overcast.

Only in the remaining four cases (2%) the weather was unknown or the weather information was not given. It is also possible to report other weather related observations on the form. Altogether 14 forms reported this additional information. Six (3%) of the reports mentioned fog and 8 (5%) reported light rain showers. (Figure 6).

Out of the total of 145 bird strike reports received in the year 2006, weather details were missing or not known in 27 (19%). Most of the bird strikes, 76 (52%), took place in fair weather with no clouds. In 31 (21%) of the cases, the weather was partly cloudy and in 11 cases (8%) the weather was reported to be cloudy. (Figure 6).

In the year 2011, weather details were missing from most of the reports. In as many as 213 reports (96%), the weather information was not given or had been marked as unknown. Only 8 reports (4%) mentioned that the sky was clear and one stated that the sky was overcast. No bird strikes were reported to have happened when the sky was partly cloudy. Any other weather related observations were also poorly reported. Only one report mentioned that there had been some rain showers. (Figure 6).

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

3.8 Bird Size and Identification of Species Out of the total of 172 bird strikes reported in the year 2000, in 112 (65%) the birds hitting the aircraft were small, in 53 (31%) they were medium size, and only one case involved a large bird (Figures 7 and 8). In four cases (2%), the size of the bird Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014 was not given or not known. Altogether, an exact determination of the species was made in 53 (30%) of the cases. Out of the 112 small birds, 28 (25%) were identified, and out of the 53 medium-size birds, 24 (45%) were identified. The only large bird that hit an aircraft was identified as an Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo).

In the year 2006, 77 (53%) out of the 145 reported bird strikes happened with small birds. 52 (36%) of the strikes were with medium-size birds and in 4 cases (3%), the bird size was marked to be large. In 12 (8%) of the occurrences the size of bird was unknown or not marked. An exact determination of species was made in 18 (12%) of the cases. Out of the 77 small birds, only 6 (8%) were determined by species. For medium-size birds an exact determination was made 10 times (19%) out of the total of 52 cases. None of the four large birds was determined by species. One was marked to be a swan, but the exact species was not known. (Figures 7 and 8).

Out of the 222 bird strikes in 2011, 121 (55%) involved small birds and 68 (30%) medium-size birds. There were no strikes with large birds except for the glider accident in Spain, which resulted from a strike with a vulture. However, this accident has not been reported as a bird strike to the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. In 33 cases (15%), the size of the bird was not given or not known (Figures 7 and 8). An exact determination of the species was made only in 22 (10%) of the cases. Out of the 121 small birds, only 6 (5%) were identified, and out of the 68 medium-size birds, 16 (24%) were identified.

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

In the years, 2000, 2006 and 2011, strikes with small birds were most commonly reported. On the other hand, small birds were the least often identified. For example, passerines, swallows and thrushes were usually not precisely identified by species.

The best-identified small bird in the year 2000 was the Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis), in the year 2006 Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) and Wagtail (Motacilla alba) and in the year 2011, it was the Skylark (Alauda arvensis).

Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014

Medium-size birds were identified better in all studied years. Especially grouses and different types of waterfowl were very well identified by species. Problems with identification were most often encountered with gulls and predators. Large birds were generally easier to identify. Also if the bird has a prominent appearance, such as the Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) or Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), it was frequently identified. Year 2006 showed that not all large birds are determined correctly by species. For example the two swan species living in Finland, the Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) and Mute Swan (Cygnus olor), were not identified in bird strike reports.

Source: 02.12.2013 / Finnish Transport Safety Agency

3.9 Number of Birds Seen and Number of Birds that Hit the Aircraft Of the 172 bird strikes reported in 2000, only one bird was seen before the strike in 78 cases (45%). Respectively, it was reported that one bird hit the aircraft in 146 (85%) of the cases. Two to ten birds were seen in 45 (26%) cases before the strike, but only in 15 (9%) the reported number of birds actually hit the aircraft. In 15 cases (9%) a flock of 11 – 100 birds was seen, but there were no strikes reported with these large flocks of birds. The field “How many birds were seen” was left empty in 34 (20%) cases, and the field “how many birds hit the A/C “ was left empty in 11 (6%) cases (Figures 9.1, 9.2. and 10).

Out of the total of 145 bird strikes reported in the year 2006, one bird was seen before the strike in 53 cases (37%). One bird actually hit the aircraft in 110 (76%) of the strikes. Two to ten birds were seen in 31 (21%) cases, but two to ten birds actually hit the aircraft only 16 (11%) times. Flocks of 11 to 100 birds were seen eight times, but flocks of that size never hit the aircraft. Flocks of over 100 birds were either not seen or were not reported to hit the aircraft. How many birds were seen was reported as unknown or the field was left empty in 53 reports (37%). How many ac

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Trafin tutkimuksia 7-2014



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