Bird Strikes Problematic for Military Helicopters, Study Finds

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  1. cobra commando

    cobra commando Tharki regiment Veteran Member Senior Member

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    Mid-air collisions between wildlife and military aircraft can lead to costly and potentially fatal accidents, with birds posing the biggest threat to helicopters operated by the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force, a new study finds. A team of scientists led by Brian Washburn, a research biologist at the National Wildlife Research Center in Sandusky, Ohio, combed through records from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard from 1979 to 2011 (although information across all years was not necessarily available for each branch of the military, Washburn told Live Science). Washburn and his colleagues found that birds are particularly problematic for military helicopters, which include Apache attack helicopters and huge Chinook vehicles that transport troops, supplies and artillery to and from the battlefield. The researchers documented 2,511 wildlife strikes across all branches of the military. Whereas the accidental collisions occurred in almost every state, Florida had the highest number of incidents, with 617 recorded wildlife strikes. New Mexico and Georgia followed, with 204 and 192 strikes recorded in the respective states. [ Supersonic! The 10 Fastest Military Airplanes ] For 812 of the military's recorded incidents, the type of animal that smashed into the helicopter was also described. Birds were the culprits in 91 percent of the cases, but the species differed according to the type of military service, since the Air Force, Navy, Army and Coast Guard operate their aircraft over different habitats, the researchers said.


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    Bird Strikes Problematic for Military Helicopters, Study Finds | LiveScience
     
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