Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Low bird strike photos and brochures

While bird strikes are a real and continuing threat to aviation, it is also an unusual air safety issue in that it has the potential to to result in very striking photographs that could be used in a completely different context, such as a brochure.

As an example, the 2009 ditching of a US Airways A320 happened because the aircraft struck a flock of birds shortly after taking off from New York's La Guardia Airport. The strike happened at over 1000' above the ground, and there were no photos of the actual strike, but there were multiple photos and videos taken of the aircraft before and after the crew landed in the Hudson River,

One of the most dramatic photos from that day was taken by a passenger in one of the ferry boats that picked some of the passengers and crew out of the water. It was from a cell phone camera, and the owner sent out messages to those on his social media network, and the picture soon went viral around the world.

Making Brochures from Photos

While this photo was about the aftermath of a bird strike, this kind of photo would be an excellent candidate for a brochure, whether it is in traditional print brochures or an online equivalents. A brochure photo doesn't have to be of magazine cover photo quality to be effective.

While a printed brochure may seem a bit old school media compared to what most people use today, the same effort that used to go only into a printed brochure should go into both the printed and electronic versions of your message.

Along with the text in the brochure, it has to help tell a story that supports the point that you are trying to make, or that illustrates the problem that you are attempting to solve. the kind of photo one needs when trying to make a point, or bring attention to an issue.

When it comes to bird strikes, it has been an issue in aviation since aircraft first flew, and will continue to be an issue so long as aircraft and birds share the same sky. Policy makers and regulators in the wildlife hazard arena will have a closely related ongoing issue, that of keeping the affected stakeholders focused on the need to deal with the threat.

For those who are working to create or change regulations and policies around this issue, a bird strike event that doesn't kill anyone and causes few if any serious injury attracts intense public attention, and provides a golden opportunity to keep bird strike hazards fresh in the public's mind.

The US Airways event was one of those golden opportunities, and had plenty of dramatic photos and videos to help remind the public for years to come. Since 2009 the proliferation of high quality photo and video technology in virtually every mobile device, makes it more likely that future bird strike incidents and accidents will provide other memorable photos.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How does it feel to be struck by a bird

Recently, journalist and author Irene S. Levine was on an Air Canada Airbus A319 flying from Vancouver, BC to Newark, NJ when her plane was hit by a bird. Shortly after takeoff, she was startled by a thump, which was later revealed to be a bird strike on the wing near her seat. The crew returned to Vancouver without incident. For more on her story, including a photo of the damage, check out her article What Air Travelers Should Know About Bird Strikes.

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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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 AirSafe.com example and create a home page withing the site to showcase your videos.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com'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.
AirSafe.com's Choice: Delicious

Selected Social Media Applications Used by AirSafe.com
Podcast (main page)
Podcast (subscription)
Mailing List
Prlog.org (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 AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com, 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 AirSafe.com, 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 AirSafe.com visitors would have had an account, and many may never be convinced to subscribe to the service. Incorporating Twitter into AirSafe.com's content wouldn't make sense unless there was a way to include the majority of AirSafe.com's audience that doesn't use Twitter.

The key breakthrough was using Twitter in combination with other AirSafe.com resources, specifically the site's automated mailing list and the AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com mailing list or to the AirSafe.com Twitter account would be automatically notified whenever there was an addition to the blog. Instead of updating three AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com 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 search.twitter.com. 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 AirSafe.com uses for breaking news on plane crashes, so when the blog is updated and AirSafe.com subscribers receive a notification of the new blog entry and then visit the blog, they get information from AirSafe.com 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 AirSafe.com on Twitter: If you don't have an account, you can quickly create one for yourself.
- Join the AirSafe.com mailing list: Receive breaking news on plane crashes, plus much more information.
Visit the AirSafe.com Mailing List Archive: See what you have been missing.
Check out AirSafe.com'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.