New info in Hudson river crash

Scientists show plane was brought down by migratory Canada geese

Feathers pulled from the engines of the US Airways flight that successfully crash-landed in the Hudson River in January show that it was not New York birds who brought down the plane. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institute have analyzed the molecular makeup of the feathers and determined that the birds were migratory Canada geese. This information is crucial for creating strategies to avoid bird collisions in the future. Local bird populations can be managed through harassment, removal and population reduction, but migratory birds are an entirely different problem. Their movements must be carefully monitored to keep flight paths out of the way. The molecular analysis of the feathers also serves to break ground in determining the geographic origin of wildlife that interferes with aviation, information that will be crucial to preventing future crashes and that can also be applied to other industries such as wind power generation and oil drilling.


Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.