Author Background

Tiago Dikerts de Tella is a flight instructor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach campus. Tiago received his Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, in 2021. He is an FAA Instrument rated Commercial Single- and Multi-Engine pilot and holds a Certified Flight Instructor with an Instrument rating certificate.

Dr. Flavio A. C. Mendonca is an assistant professor and researcher in the Aeronautical Science Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach. Dr. Mendonca is a Brazilian Air Force retired officer, a pilot, and a Flight Safety Officer (1986-2014). As a member of the Brazilian Aeronautical Accidents Investigation and Prevention Center for almost 14 years, he acted in the capacity of Investigator-in-Charge of several aircraft accidents and serious incidents involving Part 121 and Part 135 operators, and military aircraft. Dr. Mendonca provided expertise related to aviation safety and the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents during the ICAO safety management panel. He holds a Brazilian Airline Transport Pilot License with Single-and Multiengine, Learjet 30, and Embraer 110 Ratings. He also holds a Brazilian certified Flight Instructor certificate with Airplane Single-and Multiengine and Instrument Ratings. Additionally, Dr. Mendonca holds an FAA Private Pilot Certificate with Single-and Multiengine Ratings (based upon a foreign pilot license), an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate with Single-Engine Rating, and an FAA Advanced Ground Instructor certificate. He has over 30 years of experience as a pilot, with approximately 4,000 flight hours. Dr. Mendonca maintains an active research agenda, which has recently focused on the safety management of wildlife hazards to aviation, and in fatigue identification and management in a Part 141 Collegiate Aviation Environment.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) to investigate wildlife strike reporting trends in Part 139 airports in the state of Florida (2011–2020); (2) to evaluate the existence of a difference in the rate of reported wildlife strikes between the seasons of the year (2011–2020); and (3) to develop information based upon the data analyzed that can be used for the safety management of wildlife hazards in Florida.
Design/methodology: The researchers in this study answered the research questions through the analyses, revision, and evaluation of existing wildlife strike and aircraft operations data. The data analyzed in this study were collected between May 1 and May 20, 2021. The researchers used the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Activity System and the National Wildlife Strike Database to collect information on aircraft operations and reported wildlife strikes, respectively.
Findings: There were 8,977 and 458 wildlife strikes and damaging strikes, respectively, at and around Part 139 airports in Florida from 2011 through 2020. The majority of strikes (62.6%) and damaging strikes (62%) occurred during the arrival phases of flight. The number of strikes increased almost 37% from 2011 (N 5 614) to 2020 (N 5 837). Additionally, the number of strikes per 100,000 aircraft operations (wildlife strike index) increased from 18.6 to 28.62 during the same period. Aggregate data indicated the risk of strikes is higher during the fall and summer seasons of the year.
Originality/value: This study provides valuable information by addressing a gap in published wildlife strike government reports and studies using wildlife strike and aircraft operations data at a regional level. Information obtained from the scientific analyses of wildlife strike data is vital for effective wildlife hazard management programs of aviation stakeholders. Findings of this study can be used by airport operators to improve their wildlife strike mitigation efforts. Also, findings can provide the empirical foundation for integrated research and the development of national and regional standards to enhance aviation safety.