In 2018, pilots reported 14,661 collisions between birds and aircraft. That works out to an average of 40 per day.
Such have been a part of air travel from the very beginning. On Sept. 7, 1905 — less than two years after the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk — Orville Wright reported that a bird had hit his aircraft over a cornfield near Dayton, Ohio.
A USA Today analysis notes that the number of collisions has increased dramatically over the past decade.
Many reasons have been given for the increase, including faster and quieter planes.
But the biggest factor may be the result of a famous collision where geese "forced airline pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger to make his dramatic emergency landing on the Hudson River." Since then, "the FAA has worked to improve the voluntary reporting system," and a big part of the increase may simply be the result of better reporting.
Fewer than five percent of collisions result in to the aircraft.
Each weekday, Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day explores interesting and newsworthy topics at the intersection of culture, politics, and technology. Columns published on Ballotpedia reflect the views of the author.
Scott Rasmussen is founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group. He is the author of "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System," "In Search of Self-Governance," and "The People’s Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt." Read more reports from Scott Rasmussen — Click Here Now.