Conserve Wildlife Blog

NJ.com: Number of birdstrikes on the rise in N.J.

December 7th, 2018

Story by Ted Sherman, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Photo Credit: NJ.com

Nearly 10 years ago, a US Airways flight out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport memorably ended up in the Hudson River after striking a flock of Canada geese and losing engine power just northeast of the George Washington Bridge.

The passengers and flight crew survived the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” But each year, thousands of planes meet up with birds and other wildlife, and those numbers are growing in New Jersey.

In 2017, there was 366 reports of wildlife strikes in New Jersey. That was up from 326 in 2016. Among those incidents included a September 2017 crash of an ultralight aircraft in Cumberland County, after its pilot was forced to bank hard after a flock of small birds entered his flightpath. A moment later, a larger bird struck the support cable on his right wing and he tried to touch down to check for damage. Hitting the ground hard, the kite-like plane was substantially damaged.

David Wheeler, executive director of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation  of New Jersey, said the increasing number of bird strikes in New Jersey  may be a matter of better reporting, as well as the increasing number of flights in the Northeast.

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