Buckley to add new propane cannon
By John Spann, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 01, 2010
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., -- Buckley Air Force Base has added an additional propane cannon near Lake Williams to help scare migratory birds away from the lake area and the installation.
This will be the 12th cannon installed near the base's runways to help reduce bird strikes with military aircraft. Most are within the airfield fence and are not accessible to a majority of base personnel.
In the past, both base assigned and transient pilots and aircraft, have encountered birds of all sizes while taking off or approaching the airfield. In fact, last year a Colorado Air National Guard F-16 suffered almost $750,000 worth of damage after hitting a Canadian Goose while landing. So far in calendar year 2010, F-16s have struck eight different types of small birds and caused minor damage to over $7,000 dollars damage to base assigned aircraft.
"Birds and aircraft don't mix," stated Lt. Col. Beverly Sloan, Chief of Safety for the 460th Space Wing. "Buckley's Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) plan takes aggressive measure to help mitigate bird strikes with aircraft. Ingesting a large bird into the intake of a high performance aircraft could have catastrophic consequences to both the pilot and plane."
Base personnel are asked to stay away from the cannon due to possible injury or hearing loss when the cannon is fired. Signs are posted around Lake Williams advising personnel of the noise potential and danger. "Tampering with the cannon is a federal offense," said Colonel Sloan.
Most of the cannons on Buckley are moved periodically throughout the year to help keep the birds from getting too used to the cannons.