MEMBER ALERT: AOPA Pilot Information Center and Member Services will be closed today, Dec. 12, after 2:30 p.m. Eastern, and will reopen Dec. 13 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Thank you for your understanding.
April 27, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
The FAA’s bird-strike database, operated and maintained by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz., is now open to the public and is undergoing changes to make it more user friendly.
It is a database of reports made voluntarily by individual airports, and may not contain all bird-strike incidents, or in some cases may contain no incidents for your airport. It depends on whether the incidents were reported. Now, pilots and the public can look up individual airports. While you’ll see a large number of data query fields, fortunately you don’t have to fill all of them in to receive information.
Embry-Riddle’s Archie Dickey, an associate professor and director of the Aviation Environmental Science program at the Prescott campus, said the database will be more user friendly in a few weeks. Currently, the only way to know the total number of strikes reported is to count them one by one in the database.
So where is the most highly reported area for bird strikes? (This isn’t necessarily the worst area, just the area where airports have sophisticated bird-strike reporting programs.) It’s the East Coast flyway, Dickey said, and includes the states of New York, New Jersey, and Florida. There are other major flyways in the United States. The more advanced bird-strike programs include the identification of species by sending feathers to the Smithsonian Institution Feather Laboratory following an incident.
Pilot Safety and Skills,
Advocacy and Legislation
AOPA is looking to the Michigan Senate for “refinement” of proposals amended unfavorably in last-minute House action.
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.