Birds of prey help planes land safely

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmatesDamage caused by birds costs U.S. carriers $500 million annually to repair, said Richard Dolbeer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Several airports use falcons, including New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. MORENO VALLEY – Birds of prey are keeping sparrows, starlings, crows, herons and larks away from C-17 cargo planes and KC-135 tankers taking off and landing at the March Air Reserve Base. Birdman Alan Colussy, 30, commands a squadron of four trained falcons – Moose, Sierra, India and Nimbus – to terrorize birds posing a danger to aircraft at the Riverside County base. The falcons patrol the skies daily around the base’s 21/2-mile-long runway to keep the air corridors safe, making sure a bird doesn’t get sucked into an engine. Many of the nation’s military and civilian airports use devices such as lasers, shotguns or paintballs to keep birds away. Birds strike U.S. planes about 4,000 times a year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more