Thu, May 18, 2006
Dump Near Airport Attracts Birds... Big Birds
General aviation pilots operating at Austin (TX) Bergstrom
International Airport (KAUS) say they're becoming more and more
worried about bird strikes. The reason? Two landfills -- both
located less than mile from the airport -- that attract vultures.
Big, looming, Texas-sized vultures.
"We're climbing up, and two buzzards passed right in front of
the airplane, and I remember them distinctly going right in front
of the windshield," pilot Stephen Becker told Austin's KXAN-36,
recounting his experience last month on a flight with his wife.
There have been two bird strikes at Austin in the past five
months. In fact, there have been 202 bird strikes at Bergstrom
since the airport opened in 1999.
Only seven of those strikes involved the vultures. Pilots say
those are seven too many -- and that the large birds pose a danger
not just to smaller general aviation planes, but also the Southwest
737s flying between Austin and Houston that go right over the
After hearing from concerned pilots Tuesday night, airport board
members decided they'll make a resolution about the landfills at
their meeting next month. Stay tuned.
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