SOURCE: Sacramento Bee
DATE: November 16, 2020
SNIP: An Alaska Airlines flight crew spotted two bears crossing the runway early Saturday while landing at Yakutat Airport in southern Alaska. Then the pilot felt a bump.
The passenger jet’s nose gear had missed the bears, but a left engine cowl struck one of the animals, killing it, KTUU reported. None of the six passengers aboard Flight 66 were injured.
The second bear, a 2-year-old cub, escaped injury, Anchorage Daily News reported. The Boeing 737-700 will be grounded for several days for repairs.
Airport workers had cleared the runway 10 minutes before the jet’s arrival and did not spot any wildlife at that time, said Sam Dapcevich, a public information officer for the state Department of Transportation, reported the Anchorage Daily News.
Collisions with birds, either in mid-air or on the ground, are not uncommon for airliners in the United States, according to The Atlantic. But plenty of land-dwelling animals also have had fatal encounters with airplanes.
FAA records show collisions with “coyotes, raccoons, skunks, opossums, desert hares, prairie dogs, cats, dogs, foxes, bull snakes, turtles, armadillos, alligators, badgers, at least one woodchuck, an elk (and) an antelope jackrabbit,” among others, the publication reported.