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A Boeing 737-700 Alaska airlines jetliner hit a brown bear while landing Saturday evening at Yakutat Airport, which caused damage to the plane, and the animal was killed on Nov. 16, 2020.
The runway was cleared by airport crew members 10 minutes before the flight was expected to land. The crew followed normal runway checks and procedures before the plane landed while it was dark. The crew did not see any signs of wildlife during the check, but the pilots saw two bears on the runway as the jet landed.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesman Sam Dapcevich reported that the adult bear was accompanied by a thought to be a 2-year-old cub at the time of the accident, but the baby was not injured. None of the crew members or passengers on board the plane were injured. While driving into the parking area just before 6:30 pm, the pilots noticed the bear lying about 20 feet from the runway center.
The flight departed from Cordova, Alaska, and was scheduled to stop in Juneau after leaving Yakutat. However, since the left engine cowling of the jet was damaged, the plane remained in Yakutat. Airport crew members cleared the bear carcass from the runway.
Our maintenance technicians are working to repair the plane, which will take a couple of days, Alaska Airlines said.
Planes have reported hitting animals like caribou, deer, geese, and other animals, but this is the first time a plane hit a bear.
Written by Jessica Letcher
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Time: Alaska Airlines Passenger Jet Hits and Kills Brown Bear During Landing; Associated Press
ABC News: Jetliner hits brown bear while landing in southeast Alaska; Associated Press
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Inset Image Courtesy of InSapphoWeTrust’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License