During the fall months and into winter, we hear countless stories of people getting into collisions involving deer. It seems like every day, someone gets their day ruined after a deer runs out in front of their vehicle. However, one collision involving deer takes it a step further. On Thursday, an airplane pilot was shocked after accidentally hitting a deer on a runway in South Carolina.
According to reports from the Federal Aviation Administration, a Beech-36 airplane was preparing to land on a runway in Florence around 6 p.m. However, it collided with a deer causing unspecified damage to both the plane and the animal, per WLTX 19.
However, the single aircraft pilot was reportedly uninjured and could taxi the plane to the ramp.
As many people know, you’re most likely to get into an accident involving deer at either dusk or dawn. In addition, November and December are particularly bad for deer-human incidents as many deer are out and about as people are on their morning or evening commutes.
North Carolina airplane collides with coyote as it takes off from runway
While we’re sure the incident was terrifying for both the deer and the pilot, this is hardly the first time wildlife has got tangled up with an aircraft. For instance, an airplane recently taking off from Raleigh-Durham International Airport had to return to the airport when the flight crew reported hitting a coyote on the runway.
Before the incident, Southwest Airlines Flight #1221 was on its way to Chicago Midway International Airport on Tuesday. However, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, it returned to the North Carolina airport at about 8 p.m. after striking the animal.
During takeoff, the crew reported to air traffic control of a wildlife strike. After landing, the aircraft went to a nearby gate for an inspection, according to Southwest Airlines spokesperson Alyssa Foster.
According to an FAA report, there have been 37 wildlife strikes at the North Carolina airport in 2022 alone. In 2018, the airport had the highest number of strikes at 54. In addition, since 2013, coyotes have been involved in seven strikes at RDU.
“We hit it pretty much on center line,” one pilot said.
“Coyotes have no idea what an airplane is and they would also not be prepared for how fast that they move,” said Dr. Tara Harrison. She works with North Carolina State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “The animals that are being hit, like deer, coyote, Canada geese, their populations are increasing. They’re also increasing in areas where people are.”
According to RDU’s officials, they have a wildlife management plan to minimize the incidents involving wildlife. A portion of the plan includes routinely mowing the grass to keep birds away.