Monday, July 6, 2009

Scaring the Birds Away from a Swedish Airport

It’s hard to forget what happened in New York on January 15th, 2009. US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River after both engines failed, after hitting several birds. All 155 passengers aboard the flight were saved by the courageous pilot and flight crew.

Statistics show we should consider birds flying into planes a fairly common experience, at least over the past few years, but the US Airways incident really put the issue in the spotlight.

Now the news comes that the third largest city in Sweden, Malmö, is trying to remedy the "birds flying towards planes problem" with a "live" scarecrow! Radio Sweden reports that Malmö Airport has hired a live scarecrow to keep the birds away. There were no serious incidents like the story of US Airways Flight 1549 at Malmö Airport last year, but Radio Sweden says the airport experienced more than 40 bird-into-plane collisions.

What, you ask, is a live scarecrow? The airport has hired an ornithologist, whose job is to map the eating and drinking tendencies of birds in the area for a human scarecrow who will spook the birds away. The tools of a human scarecrow? Firecrackers and green lasers.

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