Sunday, April 29, 2018

Cessna 172H Skyhawk, N8201L: Incident occurred April 27, 2018 at Richard B. Russell Airport (KRMG), Rome, Floyd County, Georgia

Dents are barely visible both in front of the pilots door and behind the door to this Cessna 172 after being hit by a deer between 10:30 and 11 p.m. Friday night at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport. The pilot, who was practicing touch and go landings and takeoffs, was not hurt. A second near miss involving a Piper aircraft Saturday morning resulted in more serious damage to the aircraft, but no serious injuries to the pilot or flight instructor. 

The importance of tall security fencing at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport has been evidenced twice this weekend with one deer strike incident Friday night and a second near-deer incident Saturday morning.

On Friday night a small Cessna 172 owned-by George Russell of Calhoun, but piloted by another man who's identity has not been disclosed, was practicing touch and go landings and take-offs when a deer hit the side of the aircraft as it was landing about 1,000 feet from the south end of the main runway. The plane was dented both in front of and behind the pilot-side door.

On Saturday morning, around 10:30, a pilot was landing in a Piper with a certified flight instructor when a deer ran out in front of the aircraft as it was landing. Airport Manager Mike Mathews, who was at a Georgia Airport Association board meeting in Savannah, said he had been told the pilot swerved to miss the deer and the tail swept around with such force that it ended up dropping a wing, causing the plane to flip into a ditch. The near miss occurred in almost the same location as the incident 12 hours before.

The Piper did sustain significant damages, but no one was hurt in either incident. 

An investigator from the Federal Aviation Administration was on the scene Saturday afternoon investigating both incidents but declined to speak with the Rome News-Tribune.

Mathews said that in his 20 years at the airport he's only aware of perhaps three previous incidents involving deer strikes. But wildlife — particularly birds — are well known problems at airports all over the country.

Russell Airport received a grant several years ago for fencing but it was not enough to completely encircle the airport.  Mathews said the south end of the field, close to where the incidents occurred this weekend, is fenced and that deer probably got in from the north end of the airport.

Original article ➤

1 comment:

  1. Fences will not solve the problem. I have seen Georgia deer clear fences 15 feet tall with ease.