Upon taxiing Yakutat, Alaska on Saturday, an Alaska Airlines 737 (flight 66) from Cordova hit and killed a bear. This is not something we hear about everyday (though objects and animals colliding with airplanes is certainly not something new) but fortunately the passengers and crew were all uninsured, but the bear was not so lucky.
Alaska Airlines Plane Strikes a Bear on the Runway
According to the airport staff, the runway was scanned for animals just 10 minutes before Alaska flight 66 landed. The pilots saw the bear and her cub as they were taxiing but the bears wandered into the way of the plane.
The left engine cowling was damaged when it struck the bear though the bear cub was uninjured. Alaska Airlines has said that the plane will be stuck there for a few days as they try to make repairs. The 6 passengers who had been onboard were taken care of by Alaska to help them continue on their journey.
This was certainly an unfortunate accident but thankfully the people onboard were not injured. I have hit deer while driving a car and have had a friend hit a bear while driving but this is the first time that I have heard of an airplane hitting a bear.
You can see pictures of the damage to the plane here but be warned, there is also an after photo of the bear.
HT: Sam Chui