On appearance, birds my not look like much of a threat to airplanes, but the damage they can cause could have disastrous consequences. Minimizing the threat and risk of birds colliding with commercial planes is the main objective of the 2011 Bird Strike North America Conference, slated to be held September 12th to 15th at the Marriott on the Falls Hotel.
The widely-publicized ditching of US Airways Flight 1549 in January 2009 was the direct result of a bird strike. Not long after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport, the airliner collided with a flock of birds, severely damaging both engines and reducing visibility on the front windscreen. Captain Chesley Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles were forced make an emergency landing in the Hudson River — ditching the plane but saving 150 passengers and all five crew members in the process. While not extremely common, it’s exactly the kind of incident the Bird Strike Association wants to avoid — or better yet, do away with altogether.
Bird control tactics in use include using dogs to chase birds away from grasslands and marshes around airports, pyrotechnics, lasers, falconry, bright lights and shotgun blasts. This year’s conference is expected to attract more than 200 delegates to Niagara Falls.
Brought to you by the Marriott on the Falls.