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Airplane Lands On Bear In Alaska

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Airplane Lands On Bear In Alaska

A bear was killed after an airplane landed on it in Alaska.

The Alaska Airlines flight was attempting to land on a runway at Yakutat Airport on Saturday evening (14 November) when it struck the brown bear.

According to officials, the sow died following the accident, but its cub is said to have been unharmed.

Crew had reportedly cleared the runway shortly before the plane was due to land, with all procedures said to have been properly followed.

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Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities spokesman Sam Dapcevich said no wildlife were seen near the runway ahead of the landing.

The aircraft reportedly struck the bear while slowing down following landing. Credit: PA
The aircraft reportedly struck the bear while slowing down following landing. Credit: PA

The pilots only spotted the two bears trying to cross the runway as the jet slowed after landing.

In a statement, Alaska Airlines said: "The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane."

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The bear was then seen lying about 20 feet (6 metres) from the middle of the runway as the plane taxied to a parking area.

According to reports, it's not clear how many people were on board the aircraft at the time of the incident, but a witness said that none was injured as a result.

However, the left engine cowling of the jet was damaged by the collision.

The statement from the airline added: "Our maintenance technicians are working to repair the plane, which will take a couple of days."

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The flight had come from Cordova and was set to go on to Juneau after leaving Yakutat.

Following the incident, the sow's carcass was removed from the runway and it is due to be picked up by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

The sow was killed in the incident but her cub was unharmed. Credit: PA
The sow was killed in the incident but her cub was unharmed. Credit: PA

This isn't the first time that wild animals have come into contact with airliners, however.

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Last year, a pilot in Russia was forced to make an emergency crash landing after a flock of birds got stuck in the engine mid-flight.

Captain Damir Yusupov had to land the plane in a cornfield about a kilometre from the runway at Zhukovsky International Airport.

Miraculously, all 226 people on board the Airbus-321 were able to evacuate, 74 of whom sustained injuries.

Reflecting on the incident, Captain Yusupov said he hoped the experience wouldn't put passengers off flying.

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According to the South China Morning Post, he said: "I didn't feel any fear. I saw a cornfield ahead and hoped to make a reasonably soft landing. I tried to lower vertical speed to make the plane land as smoothly as possible and glide softly.

"I wish a quick recovery to all those injured and I wish them not to be afraid of flying."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Airplane, US News, Alaska, Bear

Dominic Smithers
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