FAA releases bird strike data

The Federal Aviation Administration released uncensored government records Friday detailing where and when birds have struck airplanes over the past 19 years.

According to the FAA National Wildlife Strike Database, 262 bird strikes have taken place at Westchester County Airport between 1990 and 2008. The FAA Web site lists more than 89,000 incidents nationwide.

Of the 262 bird strikes at Westchester County Airport, only four caused serious damage to planes and no one was hurt.

"The good news for the airport side is we have a very active program here at Westchester County Airport to disperse birds," says airport official Stephen Ferguson.

Based on the data, since 2000, John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York reported at least 30 accidents in which birds caused substantial damage to aircraft. Sacramento International Airport in California reported at least 28 accidents.

Air travelers have become more aware of the problem since U.S. Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River after being hit by a flock of Canada geese in January. The bird strikes disabled both of the plane's engines. All 155 people aboard the jet survived.

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