Alaska Airways Flight 66 was arriving from Cordova into Yakutat when the flight crew observed two bears crossing the runway, in accordance to a assertion by Alaska Airlines.
“The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impression on the left facet after the bears passed beneath the aircraft,” the airline’s statement explained. Pilots then spotted a bear lying several toes off the heart of the runway while taxiing the Boeing 737-700 plane for parking.
The left engine cowl of the airplane was harmed in the collision and maintenance specialists are presently working to repair service the plane. Six passengers had been on the flight at the time, but no accidents had been described.
Right after being informed of the incident, airport routine maintenance and operations crews taken out the bear’s carcass and introduced it to a storage warehouse, according to Sam Dapcevich, a public information officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Community Services.
The Alaska Office of Fish and Activity was contacted to organize for good disposal of the bear.
“It is a scarce event for something like this to happen,” Dapcevich instructed CNN. “I have been in Alaska my total life and we’ve had aircraft strike birds and other animals … but this is the initially occasion of a bear that I have at any time listened to of.”
The airport is partially fenced. The airport’s operations crews are educated by the US Department of Agriculture to use pyrotechnics and automobiles to discourage animals from coming close to the runway and interfering with aircraft functions, Dapcevich explained.
Crews had earlier viewed two bears in the location and believed them to be a woman bear and a cub. On the working day of the incident, crews experienced not viewed any wildlife through snow removal operations, in accordance to Dapcevich.
Neighborhood photographer and biologist Robert Johnson said he was astonished by the incident. He went out to capture the scene immediately after speaking with his neighbors who have been travellers on the flight.
“It was an unconventional occurrence, in fact a to start with in Alaska at the very least,” Johnson advised CNN. “I’ve worked with bears most of my grownup lifetime up here.”
In 1987, a different not likely collision happened involving wildlife and an Alaska Airlines airplane — but that plane hit a fish.
An Alaska Airlines flight was departing from Juneau when a huge fish strike the Boeing 737-200 plane just at the rear of the cockpit window. An eagle that had crossed paths with the flight experienced been gripping the fish in its talons.
Dapcevich explained it was way too quickly to say what techniques would be taken to protect against a rare incident like the bear collision from going on in the future.