Reports of airplanes hitting birds and other wildlife have soared to more than 10,000 in the months since a US Airways jet ditched down in New York’s Hudson River. “Serious accidents are climbing at an even faster rate than minor incidents. There were at least 57 cases in the first seven months of 2009 that caused serious damage and three in which planes and a corporate helicopter were destroyed by birds, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the latest government’s figures available. At least eight people died, and six more were hurt. The destroyed planes include the Airbus A320 with 155 passengers and crew that went into the Hudson a year ago this week after hitting a flock of Canada geese. No lives were lost in that dramatic river landing. But when a Sikorsky helicopter crashed en route to an oil platform last January after hitting a red-tailed hawk near Morgan City, Louisiana, the two pilots and six of seven passengers were killed. The lone survivor was critically injured. And there is no shortage of frightening reports of engines knocked out and emergency landings.”
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