Robert Collins
Robert Collins
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2 min of reading
  • The Boeing 737-700 killed the brown bear sow, but a cub thought to be about 2 years old was uninjured.
  • The plane landed late into the night and the crew ran a routine ground check.
  • The pilots saw the bear lying about 20 feet (6 meters) from the center of the runway as the plane pushed into a parking area.

Alaska (SK) — An Alaska Airlines jetliner hit a brown bear while landing early Saturday evening, killing the animal and causing damage to the plane. None of the passengers or crew members on board the plane were hurt during the accident at the Yakutat Airport in Alaska, The Anchorage Daily News reported. The Boeing 737-700 killed the brown bear sow, but a cub thought to be about 2 years old was uninjured, Alaska Department of Transportation spokesman Sam Dapcevich said. The airport crew cleared the runway about 10 minutes before the flight was expected to land, Dapcevich said. The plane landed late into the night and the crew ran a routine ground check.

The pilots saw the bear lying about 20 feet (6 meters) from the center of the runway as the plane pushed into a parking area.

The plane left Cordova and was scheduled to stop in Juneau after leaving Yakutat. The left engine cowling of the plane was damaged, and the plane was stuck in Yakutat Sunday. The maintenance technicians are working to repair the plane.

Employees undergo annual wildlife training. They also use pyrotechnics or vehicles to herd animals away.

Planes previously have been reported to hit deer, geese, caribou and other animals in Alaska, but Dapcevich said this is the first time he knew of a bear being struck. Crew members at Yakutat Airport cleared the bear carcass from the runway. Alaska Department of Fish and Game would collect the remains, Dapcevich said.

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