HomeOutdoorsAlaska Airlines Jetliner Kills Mother Bear While Landing

Alaska Airlines Jetliner Kills Mother Bear While Landing

by Halle Ames
(Photo Credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor/ Getty Images)

In a freak accident, an Alaska Airlines plane was making its way onto the runway when the engine struck a mother bear.

Alaska Airlines Flight

Early Saturday morning, an Alaska Airlines jetliner coming from Cordova, Alaska, to the Yakutat Airport was making its descent while still dark out. A mother brown bear and her cub were crossing the runway when the large 737 plane touched down and was still in the process of stopping.

The mother bear took a massive hit from the left engine and it killed her. The two-year-old cub narrowly missed the large metal aircraft and was unharmed.

The plane, however, suffered significant damage, including a large visible dent to the engine. Thankfully, the collision did not injure anyone on board the aircraft.

According to reports, the pilots had done everything according to the standard procedure before landing. In addition, airport personnel working on the runway had not seen the mother bear or her baby crossing, so they gave the all-clear. Ten minutes later, the plane made its landing, and the bear was hit and killed.

Truly a freak accident all around.

Alaska natives say they have seen unlucky animals such as deer, geese, caribou, or smaller animals get hit by a plane before, but this was the first time they had heard of a bear getting killed by one.

Bear VS Plane

A Boeing 737 is anywhere from 102 feet to 138 feet long, and it can hold nearly 180 passengers onboard. In addition, a plane usually lands at speeds of close to 165 mph once on the ground.

In comparison, an adult brown bear can grow to about nine and a half feet tall. They can also weigh nearly 1,300 pounds.

The mother bear stood no chance against the bullet-like aircraft. Her baby will now live on in the Alaskan wilderness.