BASH It's not a party
By SMSgt Ray Lloyd, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published September 26, 2011
Niagara Falls Reserve Station --
On September 19&20 the Niagara Falls Reserve Station had a visit from Dr. Russ DeFusco of BASH Inc., an NGB funded contractor. He specializes in Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard abatement for civil and military flight safety. He has over 20 years of applied worldwide experience in this area and has visited nearly every Guard and Reserve flying unit to aid them in program development. On this visit he toured the airfield and surrounding area, looked at habitat, population control, bird dispersal methods, forecasting, operational planning for bird avoidance, accident prevention, and investigations.
As the host unit, the 914th AW is responsible for producing the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Reduction Plan that supports the Air Force program as outlined in AFI 91-202, with the 107th taking an active participatory role. This plan is the driver that dictates policy and procedure for airfield operations and base support agencies regarding BASH.
Dr. DeFusco's mandate is to provide recommendations to the current plan to ensure it is the most current, effective plan possible with the ultimate goal of the safest flying environment possible.
The FAA recently decided to release aircraft bird strike data (see: http://wildlife.pr.erau.edu/public/index.html), as a result of recent
increasing inquiries. The insightful database allows users to view statistics by year, state, airport, bird type and more. The data reveals that some airports have higher incidents of strikes than others - higher incidents tending to occur at airports near wetlands or fields. Overall, in 2010, there were 9,122 bird strikes reported in the United States. Last year base aircraft experienced 21 bird strikes locally, with only one resulting in significant aircraft damage. The biggest risks to local aircraft continue to be migratory birds such as Canadian Geese and large flocks of Euro Starlings, as well as Ring Bill Gulls. Mitigation efforts such as the use of pyro technics and USDA depredation as well as operational risk management decisions are at the heart of BASH reduction. Forthcoming recommendations from Dr. DeFusco will be incorporated into the Base BASH Plan, keeping the skies safe for our aircraft and crews.