Boeing 737-700 Plane Hits Bear On Runway During Landing At Alaska Airport
Alaska Airlines encountered an unusual incident when one of its planes hit a bear while it was attempting to land. Though the plane managed to carry out the landing safely, the bear didn’t fare so well.
The Boeing 737-700 was trying to land in Yakutat Airport in Alaska, on Saturday, November 14, but it encountered an unusual problem. While descending, the flight from Cordova ran into two brown bears on the runway.
Unfortunately, one of the bears was hit and while this did not impact the safety of the six passengers, many of the local staff are mystified by the occurrence.
Alaska Airlines explained the events that led to the bear being hit by the plane:
The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane.
As a result of the collision, the left engine cowl of the plane was damaged, but this is being addressed by technicians and the plane should be fit to fly once again after it has been repaired. The damaged engine was caught on camera by photographer Robert Johnson, who shared the image on social media.
In terms of avoiding this kind of incident, there haven’t been too many ideas because it has only happened once.
A public information officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Sam Dapcevich, told CNN:
It’s a rare occurrence for something like this to happen, I’ve been in Alaska my whole life and we’ve had aircraft strike birds and other animals… but this is the first instance of a bear that I’ve ever heard of.
While it is unclear how the bears will be protected or kept off the runway in the future, the fact that it has not been a problem in the memories of people local to the airport suggests that the issue will not become a frequent issue that needs addressing.
It is thought that the brown bear that escaped the incident was a two-year-old cub, but it has yet to be found.
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