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24 January 2009

Comparison of Eight Bird Strike Accidents, Including US Airways Flight 1549

The 15 January 2009 accident involving US Airways Flight 1549 was one of those rare bird strike events that resulted in the loss of an aircraft. A crash due to a bird strike is a rare event, but over the last several decades there have been several of these accidents that were investigated by authorities in the US and elsewhere. In the 2000 book Understanding Aviation Safety Data, Dr. Todd Curtis of reviewed seven of these accidents and found that there were very clear patterns among them, including the key roles that flight crews had in the accident sequence, both in preventing fatalities as was the case with the US Airways crash, or contributing to an accident that may have been avoided had the crew performed differently.

After last week's accident, that original analysis was updated to include the US Airways accident. The goal was to provide a better model for how bird stike related accidents occur, and more importantly highlight issues that the aviation industry should address in order to reduce bird strike related risks. This method could be applied more broadly, specifically to risks such as runway incursions, which is a problem area that is of great concern to both the FAA and NTSB.

You are invited to not only review this analysis (links below), but also to send comments, suggestions, or even corrections to at Once the review period has ended, will make this study permanently available on the site.

Download "Comparison of Eight Serious Bird Strike Accidents"


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