Av Hazard publicizes safety and operational concerns to help prevent accidents but it works only if we hear from you. Use the postage-free Av Hazard card to describe the hazard and return it to Pro Pilot. To obtain an official FAA review send NASA an ASRS form. For immediate action, call the airport, FBO, ATC, FSDO or the 24-hour FAA Safety Hotline at 800-255-1111. Note: Telephone numbers for all US Towers and ARTCCs are published in Ac-U-Kwik and Pilots Express Airport/ Heliport/FBO directories. To report safety concerns outside the US, contact ICAO HQ at 514-954-8219 or via fax at 514-954-6077. ICAO has worldwide telephone and fax numbers to expedite Av Hazard reports to civil aviation authorities.
Deer roam at JYO
We were cleared for the visual approach into JYO (Leesburg VA). It was approximately 0200 local. Within 50 ft agl we saw a deer crossing the runway below the aircraft. As we continued to about 20 ft agl, we spotted 3 more deer crossing the runway just in front of us. We initiated a balked landing. The copilot called Potomac Approach to advise of our intentions since we were in the ADIZ, below the Class B and had already cancelled our IFR flightplan. We returned for an uneventful landing and without seeing any more deer. This airport is surrounded by homes, and this forces wildlife onto airport property that is not fenced. A year ago, we struck 2 deer (1 deer each engine) resulting in several hundred thousand dollars in damages.
__ATP, King Air 200
- With more wildlife areas taken over by urban sprawl and the disappearance of natural predators of deer, their populations are increasing across the US. According to an FAA report published in 2004, it is estimated there are more than 26 million deer in the US. Wildlife are able to adapt and find plenty of food and shelter around airports. FAA received more than 650 deer/aircraft collision reports from 1990-2004. The ARSA database maintained by NASA has more than 60 reports of deer/aircraft collisions in the past 5 years. Airports must be more proactive to prevent aircraft damage and possible loss of life.
And pilots can mitigate the risk during flight operations at dawn, dusk or night-time by performing a low pass down the runway prior to landing or taxiing down the runway prior to takeoff to ensure it is clear. This does not always work because some wildlife (mostly birds) return to the runway after you pass by. Airports should install fencing at least 10 ft high to deter deer from airport property. FAA asks that all wildlife strikes be reported on FAA Form 5200-7. This form can be found online at the website for wildlife mitigation jointly maintained by FAA and Transport Canada at wildlife-mitigation.tc.faa. gov. In addition to the online form, there is a wealth of information on wildlife mitigation around airports.
Glider near-miss at TEB
On the JAIKE2 arrival into TEB (Teterboro NJ), Philadelphia Approach advised us of reported glider activity in the vicinity of REGLE intersection. We were switched to New York Approach and had gone approximately 5 miles north of SBJ (Readington NJ) at 4000 ft when we spotted a glider which had just come within 500 ft horizontally and 100 ft above us. ATC was advised and remarked that the gliderport located near SBJ rarely had aircraft above 2000 ft. The glider was not in contact with ATC, had no transponder and was unable to be seen by New York radar.
__ATP, Falcon 50EX, Falcon 900B
- On Aug 26, 2006, a glider collided with a Hawker at 16,000 ft approximately 42 miles south-southeast of the RNO (Intl, Reno NV). The glider pilot parachuted to safety and the Hawker flightcrew were able to land on 1 engine. The glider was equipped with a transponder but it was not turned on. Had the transponder been on, the jet would have received traffic alerts concerning the glider through its TCAS and could have made evasive maneuvers earlier. Both pilots reported seeing the other aircraft only 1 sec before impact. The copilot of the Hawker never saw the glider. In this accident, the pilot had not turned on the transponder because he wanted to save battery power for the radio. Although transponder installation is not required on gliders, FARs require any person operating a transponder-equipped aircraft to use the transponder.
The accident report noted that, even though pilots are required to see and avoid other aircraft even when the aircraft is on an IFR flightplan (when weather permits), in this case several factors diminished the avoidance process. The report noted that, due to the high closure rates, it was extremely difficult to acquire the other aircraft visually. Aggravating conditions also include gliders' slim design, which makes them hard to see, and ATC unable to identify them on radar. A search of the ARSA database shows 21 critical events with gliders over the past 9 years. All pilots need to be extra vigilant near glider airports, especially on fine sunny days. All pilots should file near-midair collision (NMAC) reports whenever these events occur. The only ways this data can be recorded-and possibly ATC procedures changed-are either by an aircraft accident or the continued filing of NMAC forms. We should go with option 2.