What do you get when you mix a deer with a 737? Last year you would have ended up with this Thomson Airways 737-800. This year you get a closed runway for forty minutes because an aircraft literally hit deer.
Upon landing last Friday at runway 36C at Charlotte, ABC reports, US Airways flight 1950 “plowed through a herd of deer”. An air traffic controller estimates there were approximately a dozen deer on the runway, one of which was struck by the 737′s landing gear, according to a preliminary FAA report.
The aircraft involved was N445US and unfortunately not this Finnair MD-11 for a bit of irony. There were no human injuries although runway 36C was closed for approximately 40 minutes and re-opened after a clean up (no details provided).
LiveATC.net recordings between the ground controller and pilots make for a humorous ending. (You can hear the clip for yourself here after registering for a free account.)
US Airways flight 1950 pilot: “There’s a whole herd of deer. It looked like a bunch of them. I don’t know how many we hit.”
Controller to unknown pilot: “Deer just got hit on the runway…it was about a dozen deer.”
Unknown pilot: “Oh dear.”