Plane Crashes Into Deer While Landing At South Carolina Airport

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A pilot just hit a deer while landing at a South Carolina airport this past weekend.

As the wheels of the small plane touched down on the Union County Airport runway, the landing lights revealed a group of deer directly ahead. In a moment that demanded split-second decision-making, the plane’s pilot collided with one of the deer.

The impact was severe: the propeller sliced through the air and then the deer, causing significant damage to the engine and ripping off the nose gear. Miraculously, all passengers emerged without a scratch.

This incident at Union County isn’t an isolated event in South Carolina. Back in August, a similar heart-pounding encounter occurred in Colleton County when a two-engine propeller plane hit a deer during landing. The collision led to the collapse of the nose gear and damaged the propellers.

These deer strikes are more than just frightening anecdotes. A Federal Aviation Administration study reveals a startling statistic: since 1990, nearly 1,400 deer have been struck by planes in the United States, resulting in an estimated $64 million in damages. Most of these encounters occur during landing.

But it’s not just deer that pose a threat to aircraft. The skies are also a battleground, with over 224,000 bird strikes recorded since 1990, compared to 3,701 mammal strikes. While the FAA assures that these incidents are rare in the grand scheme of aviation movements, they are a daily reality.

The Union County Airport, much like many other general aviation airports, lacks a surrounding fence, leaving it open to such wildlife encounters. This story serves as a stark reminder of the unexpected challenges pilots may face, even before they leave the ground.

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