Since the FAA released its Bird Strike database last spring, we’ve had a lot of fun working with the data. We put some of the interactive visualizations online so you can play with the Snarge data too.
Snarge is a noun describing "the feathered leftovers after the flight paths of a bird and a plane intersect." One of our favorite blogs, the Cranky Flier, ran with the story. Several comments on Cranky’s post come from pilots, from whom we heard gems like this one:
"I have hit many birds while flying. I always feel bad about it, but not once has my plane had anything worse than a small divet. I even hit a hawk while flying cargo and nothing came of it."
While putting the Snarge visualizations up we got the chance to explore a really interesting data set and come up with findings like the one in the title. Technically, it’s a wildlife strike database, which is how we were able to find out that while deer strikes are a rare occurrence relative to bird strikes,
There is a high chance of damage for deer strikes (82% of deer strikes resulted in some damage, from moderate to severe).
The East Coast and Great Lakes regions lead the country in deer strikes.
As you might expect, almost all deer strikes happen on the runway: at the take-off run, landing roll, taxi or approach.
It’s a good thing that deer aren’t striking planes en route, at 10,000 feet and higher, or we’d have to seriously re-evaluate our understanding of deer. Maybe at Christmastime we’ll see more incidents en route.