Thursday, December 3, 2009

Full Size Photos from the Show Low Bird Strike Now Available

Last month's bird strike involving an Ameriflight Beech C-99 aircraft (N330AV) near Show Low, AZ was a fairly dramatic one involving a windshield penetration, copious amounts of blood and guts (the bird's) in the cockpit, and an injured pilot who brought the plane in for a safe landing.

One of the employees of the city of Show Low took a number of photographs of the event, some of which you may have seen in either a previous article on this site or in another web site or news program. Below, you will find eight of those photos, and if you click on any of them, you will see the full sized original.

Since these photos are in the public domain, you are free to use them without cost and without asking permission. It would be appropriate to give any photo credits to the city of Show Low, AZ.

NTSB Preliminary Report
NTSB Identification: WPR10IA045
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Incident occurred Wednesday, November 04, 2009 in Show Low, AZ
Aircraft: BEECH C-99, registration: N330AV
Injuries: 1 Minor.

On November 4, 2009, about 0750 mountain standard time (MST), a Beech C-99, N330AV, encountered a bird strike while on approach to Show Low Regional Airport (SOW), Show Low, Arizona. Ameriflight, LLC, was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained damage to the left front pilot windshield.

The cross-country cargo flight departed Phoenix, Arizona, about 0715. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that shortly after beginning the descent at an altitude of 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl), approximately 20 miles west of Show Low, a bird impacted the upper part of the captain’s windshield, breaking a football size hole in it. A considerable amount of blood, tissue matter, and windshield fragments came into the cockpit.

The captain suffered facial lacerations, bruising, and some lacerations on his chest.

The pilot continued his approach to SOW in spite of the fact the windscreen was nearly opaque. The pilot made radio calls in the blind using the standby hand microphone. He was unable to hear any transmissions due to the wind noise in the cockpit.

The photos from the event can also be found at the following locations:

Click to Enlarge

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Bird Strike near Show Low, AZ Injures Pilot and Damages Aircraft

On 4 November 2009, an Ameriflight Beech C-99 aircraft (N330AV) was cruising at about 11,000 feet in the vicinity of Show Low, AZ when one or more birds struck the aircraft and penetrated the windscreen. The pilot, who was the lone occupant of the cargo aircraft, sustained minor injuries to his face and shoulder and was able to land the aircraft without further incident at Show Low, AZ. The blood in the accompanying photos is from the bird.

Photos by Mike Pflueger

Additional information is available from KSAZ Television in Phoenix.

Related Resources
Bird Strike Risks to Aircraft

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Bird Strike Study for 2002-2006

While reviewing a directory of recent reports from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), I came across a document analyzing Australian bird strike occurrences from 2002-2006 (full report available here).

The summary has risen from approximately 750 in 2002 to 1,200 in 2006. The report includes bird and bat strikes that occurred in Australian territory or that involved any strike involving an Australia-registered aircraft. The analysis looked at a variety of variables including location, date, phase of flight, type of flight operation, effect on flight, aircraft damage, and bird size, and bird species.

Bird strike reporting was found to have almost doubled over the five-year reporting period from about 750 in 2002 to 1,200 in 2006. Around 7.5% (383 of 5,103) during the study period resulted in damage. The overall strike rate was about one per 6,407 aircraft movements. There were three injuries, but no fatalities, during this five-year period.

Additional Resources
Recent Bird Strikes in the News

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ten Free Social Media Things You Can Do

Two of the biggest excuses organizations and individuals have when it comes to using social media applications is that it takes too much time to figure out how to use them and takes too many resources once your start using them. True, some social media applications may take a bit of time to learn, but unless you have been on a deserted island for the last ten years, you probably figured out by now how to use email and do basic things on the web like find things with a search engine. If you can do that,figuring out most social media applications should be easy.

Cost is not an issue because once you can get online, which you should be able to do either at home, at work, or at your local library, much of the really good stuff is free. The following ten social media resources are not only free, but should be useful to you in some way, especially if you are trying to make yourself or your organization more visible online.

Before you explore new social media applications, you may want to get a free online email account. Having this kind of account makes using social media much more convenient. Some applications require that you have an account with one of these email services, and most require an email account for administrative purposes. Also, if your main email account is from your organization, you may want an outside account to keep your activities more private. Three of the most popular places for online email accounts are from Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.
Suggested Resource: Gmail

The following ten social media resources are not only free, but should be useful to you in some way.

1. Blogging
Think of a blog as a web site where just about all the work is done for you. You sign in, write something, hit a button, and it is online. If you've thought about starting a web site but have no idea what it takes to do it, a blog is the easiest way to get that experience. Also, if you already have a web site, a blog is an easy way to try quickly try new ideas that may later put on the site. Two of the biggest blog services are Blogger and WordPress. Both of them can get you from login to published blog in less time than a lunch break.'s Choice: Blogger

2. Micoblogging
This is a stripped down version of a blog, basically little more than a couple of sentences and maybe a link to something online. Examples include Yammer and the much more widely known Twitter. This blogging method that may work best for sending short messages to portable devices like an iPhone or Blackberry, or in conjunction with other resources such as a web site, mailing list, or full sized blog.'s Choice: Twitter

3. Online File Storage
If you need to share files with one or more colleagues, or you need to access key files from several different computers, and don't want the hassle carrying around a laptop or thumb drive, or emailing files, you can use one of these services to manage your files in a password protected environment.'s Choice: Airset

4. Photo Sharing and Storage
If you are interested in sharing photos, services like Flickr and Picasa allow you to store photos online, and even giving you the option of allowing others to access them or download them.'s Choice: Flickr

5. Intelligence Gathering
If you need to find or track some information online, for example monitoring a developing news story or keeping current on a competitor or industry, Google has a service called Google Alerts that will keep track of them for you and send regular email updates when it finds something.'s Choice: Google Alerts

6. Video Sharing
Some of the millions of user generated videos are published every day may actually be of interest to you. While you may be able to find them using general search engines like Google or Bing, you may have better luck by searching within video sharing sites like YouTube, Metacafe, and LiveLeak. YouTube is by far the biggest, with the greatest variety of content. Also, if have videos that you want to share, you can follow the example and create a home page withing the site to showcase your videos.'s Choice: YouTube

7. Social Networking
Facebook and Myspace may be the most well known social networking sites, but a site like LinkedIn is more relevant to working professionals, providing a kind of online resume and biography, and allowing others to see you out and contact you.'s Choice: LinkedIn

8. Subscribing to Podcasts
There are millions of audio and video podcasts out there that cover a huge range of topics, including a few that would be of interest to you. Both Apple (iTunes) and Microsoft (Zune) distribute free software that allows you to easily manage subscriptons to audio of and video podcasts of every description. The iTunes software also has extensive links to online audio stream of radio stations from around the world.'s Choice: iTunes

9. Free Phone Calls
Wouldn't it be great if you could use the Internet to call someone long distance, even internationally, without spending any extra money? You can download a program like Skype or Googletalk and talk for free with anyone else who has both a connection to the Internet and who has downloaded the same software.'s Choice: Skype

10. Social Bookmarking
All web browsers allow you to bookmark favorite pages, but if you use several computers, or even several browsers on the same computer, keeping track of your bookmarkes can be next to impossible. Bookmark sharing resources like Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon allow you to create an online account where you can store and manage your bookmarks, and then either make them private and password protected, or make them public and available to anyone.'s Choice: Delicious

Selected Social Media Applications Used by
Podcast (main page)
Podcast (subscription)
Mailing List (online press releases)
Bird Strike Blog
Crash Video Blog

Next Steps
If you are using none of these services, go ahead and try one of them to see if it can help you out in some way. If you are using one or more of them, leave a comment on this blog post and share your experiences, positive or negative, with using these services.

How Uses Twitter and a Mailing List with Its Blog

Social media applications make it easy to publish and share information with an audience. They can be used individually or they can be used in combination with other online resources and applications. By combining applications, their combined usefulness can be greater than the sum of their individual strengths.

One combination uses consists of an automated mailing list, a blog, and Twitter. The mailing list had been developed over several years and had been used to send newsletters and breaking news items. The various blogs are more recent additions, and have been used to provide more details than were possible in a newsletter, and to supplement the main web site.

Twitter is the newest addition to, and initially had the most problems. Twitter is what is called a microblogging service, which acts like a blog it that it allows users to easily publish something online, but is very limited in that you have a 140 character limit, basically enough for a headline and maybe one link to another resource.

For, having only enough space for a headline and a link to another resource isn't a problem since Twitter's main use was to encourage a subscriber to link to other content such as a particular page on a web site. As a relatively new online service, very few current visitors would have had an account, and many may never be convinced to subscribe to the service. Incorporating Twitter into's content wouldn't make sense unless there was a way to include the majority of's audience that doesn't use Twitter.

The key breakthrough was using Twitter in combination with other resources, specifically the site's automated mailing list and the News blog site. The mailing list service, which over the last several years has grown to several thousand subscribers, has a feature that allows it to be linked to a blog so that any new blog item leads to an automatic generation of an email that includes a short message and a link to the blog item. A second feature automatically sends out a Twitter message to followers that includes a link back to the new blog posting.

In short, those two features allowed anyone who was either a subscriber to the mailing list or to the Twitter account would be automatically notified whenever there was an addition to the blog. Instead of updating three resources, only one had to be updated to reach three distinct audiences.

The mailing list, blog, and the Twitter account are promoted in different ways to different types of visitors. By doing a little bit of behind the scenes work, all three audiences could be easily connected.

One of the unexpected benefits was that Twitter and related technologies opened up additional options for finding useful information that was of interest to the audience with the audience. The most useful was the Twitter search function at It is a great tool for quickly finding useful links to breaking news stories. For example, after a plane crash, it can be used to search through the hundreds, and sometimes thousands of Twitter messages that users send to one another after a crash. At least a few will have links to news media and other resources that have timely information on an unfolding event.

The blog is the main resource that uses for breaking news on plane crashes, so when the blog is updated and subscribers receive a notification of the new blog entry and then visit the blog, they get information from and also benefit from the work that Twitter users did to find relevant online content.

Next Steps
If you want to see how this stuff works or how it can help you, do one of the following:

- Follow on Twitter: If you don't have an account, you can quickly create one for yourself.
- Join the mailing list: Receive breaking news on plane crashes, plus much more information.
Visit the Mailing List Archive: See what you have been missing.
Check out's mailing list provider: If you are thinking of starting a mailing list, or making your current list more capable, this is a good place to start.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Social Media's Role in Airline Safety

Dr. Todd Curtis of the Foundation will present the paper "Social Media, Bird Strikes, and Aviation Safety Policy" at the upcoming 2009 Bird Strike North America Conference in Victoria, Canada the week of 13 September 2009. The following excerpt of the abstract gives a good overview of what to expect:

When many bird strike related organizations first launched their web site, that was about all the online presence that was needed. However, with the rise of the use of social media technology that allows users to tailor how they find and use information, having a web site is no longer enough. Many of the most useful tools in the social media arena are relatively simple to use, often free, and can greatly expand the ability of an organization to reach an online audience.

For those of you who will not be in Victoria for the conference, Dr. Curtis and the Foundation will provide information online, including podcasts, videos, presentation slides, and other materials that will allow those of you in the bird strike and wildlife hazard community, as well as others in the aviation safety community, to benefit from the presentation.

The first of these online resources is the Conversation at podcast "Social Media's Role in Airline Safety." In this show, Dr. Todd Curtis discusses the role that social media applications like Twitter, YouTube, and podcasts have had in shaping the public's relationship to aviation safety issues. Using the example of the January 2009 ditching of a US Airways aircraft in the Hudson River, the show discusses why any organization that intends to influence aviation safety policy or the aviation safety community should embrace these emerging technologies in order to better serve their members and the general public.

You can listen to the podcast at, and review the full transcript, as well as follow links to a number of supporting resources, at the News.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

NTSB Determines that Pelican Caused 2009 OKC Crash

28 July 2009, Washington, DC:
The National Transportation Safety Board today determined that the probable cause of the 2008 crash in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, of a Cessna 500 (Citation) was airplane wing-structure damage sustained during impact with one or more large birds (American white pelicans), which resulted in a loss of control of the airplane.

"While the Board has determined that it was the bird strike that brought down this airplane," said Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker, "this investigation also uncovered improper and noncompliant charter operations that should have been identified and discontinued by the FAA."

On March 4, 2008, at approximately 3:15 p.m. (CST), a Cessna 500, registered to Southwest Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic PC of Oklahoma City, entered a steep descent and crashed about 2 minutes after takeoff from Wiley Post Airport (PWA) in Oklahoma City. Both pilots and the three passengers were killed and the airplane was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire.

Major safety issues identified by this accident investigation focus on airframe certification standards for bird strikes, inadequate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enforcement of wildlife hazard assessment requirements for airports located near wildlife attractants, the lack of published information regarding operational strategies for pilots to minimize bird-strike damage to aircraft, and inadequate FAA detection of and intervention in improper charter operations.

As a result of its investigation, the NTSB issued 10 recommendations to the FAA and reiterated 1 previously issued recommendation.

Among the recommendations, the NTSB urged the FAA to revise bird-strike certification requirements for transport category (14 Code of Regulations Part 25) airplanes so that protection from in-flight impact with birds is consistent across all airframe structures. Other recommendations in this area include calling for more stringent verification of airport wildlife hazard assessments and reporting of wildlife strikes.

To correct the shortcomings uncovered in this investigation regarding federal oversight of aircraft charter operations, the NTSB wants the FAA to explore and implement strategies to improve on-site inspector surveillance activities at airports and of flight operations to detect and deter improper charter operations. The NTSB urged the FAA not only to require pilots to identify in the flight plan the operator and the operating rules under which the flight is operated, but also require the operator to provide its customers with written documentation that identifies the terms of carriage.

The reiterated safety recommendation, initially issued in 2006, urges the FAA to require aircraft equipped with a cockpit voice recorder (CVR) to be functionally tested before the first flight of each day and to perform a periodic maintenance check of the CVR.

A synopsis of the accident investigation report, including the findings, probable cause, and safety recommendations, can be found on the Board Meetings page of the NTSB's website, The complete report will be available on the website in several weeks.

Cessna Citation Information
Bird Strike Committee USA