Birds cause on average $1.2 billion of damage to commercial aircraft worldwide. Within the US, that figure is estimated to be as much as $715 million per year. The largest perpetrators are sea gulls and geese that tend to get sucked into jet engines and crash into windscreens. The collision between a bird and an aircraft is called a bird strike.
More about birds and airplanes:
- The JFK airport in New York City has the highest bird accident incidence rate in the United States.
- A team of falcons, and falconers who train them, is sometimes used by airports to keep geese and sea gulls away from the runways.
- Most bird strikes happen during aircraft takeoff or landing.