Avoiding Airliner Bird Strikes By Using Warning Lights

Bird strikes Keeping birds away from airliners may be getting some help from a model airplane.

Robert Benincasa at NPR reports:

“When US Airways Flight 1549 made an emergency landing in the Hudson River in January after hitting geese, it turned the spotlight on so-called bird strikes — a longstanding problem of aircraft colliding with birds in flight. Airports try a lot of tricks to keep birds away, but now some researchers are shining light on a possible solution. At Plum Brook Station, a 6,000-acre, high-security government campus near Sandusky, Ohio, scientists are literally flying a plane at groups of geese and watching how they react. It’s a radio-controlled model plane — a 9-foot wingspan aircraft that looks like a miniature Cessna. The plane has white, pulsating LED lights mounted on the front, to test the idea that aircraft lighting can signal birds to get out of the way of an approaching plane.” See full article.

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Published: August 17, 2009