NTSB Identification: DFW08IA073.
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Incident occurred Monday, February 18, 2008 in Austin, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/30/2008
Aircraft: McDonnell Douglas MD-88, registration: N935DL
Injuries: 148 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may not have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

A commercial air carrier was on a visual approach to a FAR Part 139 airport when it struck a bird (Black Vulture) approximately 9 miles from the airport at an altitude of 1,800 feet above ground level. The impact resulted in airframe vibrations; however, both of the turbofan engine indications remained normal. The airplane landed uneventfully, and further examination revealed that the vulture struck the lower right hand corner of the radome. The impact resulted in damage to the glide slope antenna mount, the lower nose-web, and outer fuselage skin. In addition, the forward bulkhead (non-pressurized) fuselage rib was torn. Blood was also observed on the right engine's nacelle; however, an inspection of the first and second stage blades revealed no damage. A review of Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 139.337(a), titled Wildlife Hazard Management, revealed that a certificate holder is required to conduct an ecological study (Wildlife Hazard Assessment) if an air carrier aircraft experiences a multiple bird strike, an engine ingestion, or a damaging collision with wildlife other than birds. Part 139 also requires that an assessment be conducted if wildlife of a size or in numbers capable of causing one of these events is observed to have access to any airport flight pattern or movement area. According to a representative of the airport, they do not have an FAA approved Wildlife Management Plan since there had been no previous incidents that fit the criteria set aside by FAR 139.337(a) or Advisory Circular 150/5200-33B, titled Hazardous Wildlife Attractants on or Near Airports that required such a plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this incident to be:

The airplane struck a large bird while making a visual approach to the airport.

Full narrative available

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