1,500-plus U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft have suffered Bird strikes in the past 15 years

1,500-plus U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft have suffered Bird strikes in the past 15 years

A Shocking report revealed that Since the fiscal year 2004, the Marine Corps has recorded roughly 1,540 bird or animal strike incidents.

Less than 30 of those incidents resulted in serious damage or a mishap classification between A to C, according to Marine spokesman Capt. Christopher Harrison.

On May 7 a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) ) F-35B from Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing operating out of Iwakuni, Japan was forced to abort takeoff after a bird strike. See Details: F-35B Sustained more than $2 million In damage from a Bird Strike during takeoff

Harrison said that a May 7 F-35 bird strike was the second Class A mishap resulting from a bird strike for the Corps in the past 15 years.

The previous incident occurred in 2011, when an AH-1W Cobra, with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 out of Camp Pendleton, California, hit a hawk, “causing in-flight breakup” of the Cobra.

The Navy’s definition of mishap classifications from A to C involve damages ranging from as low as $50,000 for a Class C to $2 million for a Class A. Or, a fatality or permanent disability for Class A to more than a missed day of work from an injury for a Class C.

Bird strike reporting is mandatory for Marine and Naval aviators, even if an aircraft sustains no damage from the incident.

Much of the procedures implemented by Marine pilots to mitigate bird strikes are done at the group or squadron level and are based on each unit’s standard operating procedure, Harrison explained.

“Aircrew action in the event of a bird strike is also a mandatory briefing item for certain mission sets across several aviation platforms,” Harrison said.

A common tool used by Marine pilots during flight planning to avoid striking birds is called the avian hazard advisory system, or AHAS.

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