Aircraft colliding with cows

We have mentioned stories or incidents involving emus, dogs, rabbits, wild pigs, turtles, deer, a bull and even cat fish running, hopping or slithering across runways, but there have been several strange incidents involving cows which we noted earlier this year with General Aviation News mentioning yet another cow mishap.

To recap the cow mishaps we mentioned earlier this year:

  • NYC Aviation reported early last year an incident at the Mayor Buenaventura Vivas Airport in Santo Domingo, Venezuela, where an Aserca Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-82 struck two cows (who died instantly) because they did not move fast enough. The cows damaged the jet’s left main landing gear while the left wing flaps were damaged enough to keep the aircraft grounded until repairs could be made.
  • NYC Aviation also mentioned that in 2005, a herd of cows were hit by an Air France Airbus A330 while landing in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The incident led local authorities to arrest stray cows and hold them until their owners paid a fine.
  • The Jakarta Post reported in 2011, an Aviastar Twin Otter hit three cows while landing at the Komodo Airport in Indonesia. Komodo happens to also be the home of Komodo Dragons who presumably avoid wandering on runways!
  • We also posted a video of a British biplane clipping a cow while making a landing in a field back in 2008.

To add to these cow incidents, General Aviation News has posted a September 2011 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) accident report involving a Cessna 182 hitting a cow in Roundup, Montana. Apparently, the pilot was attempting to land on a dirt road when he overflew the area and noticed a group of cows nearby before entering a left-hand pattern.

During the landing flare, the pilot saw a cow approaching from the left and he attempted to swerve to miss the animal, but was unsuccessful and hit the cow. Although the pilot attempted to regain control, the aircraft continued to the left, landed hard, bounced and settled back onto the ground – resulting in substantial damage.

No word on whether the cow had also had substantial damage or survived while the NTSB ruled that the accident was caused by the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from an obstacle (the cow) during the landing flare.

In other words, watch out for cows the next time you land on a dirt road or grass landing strip or an open field!

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3 Responses to Aircraft colliding with cows

  1. Drew January 5, 2016 at 00:38 #

    A friend landing at a lighted private airport some years back in her Bonanza. Turns out that the airport owner failed to clear the field. She touched down and then, as she said later, all I saw were eyes. To say the least, she was off steaks and hamburgers after she dissected several black Angus cows.


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