An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-700 has been damaged following a collision with a brown bear in Yakutat, Alaska. None of the passengers onboard were injured, but the bear was killed immediately on impact.
The incident occurred shortly before 18:30 local time, so the flight crew had limited visibility on the dark runway. A runway inspection ten minutes prior to flight AS66’s landing showed no signs of wildlife.
However, the two pilots spotted the bear and its 2-year-old cub crossing the runway as the plane was slowing down after landing.
“The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane”Alaska Airlines statement
The flight crew then noticed the deceased bear “lying about 20 feet off the center of the runway” while taxiing to the gate, according to an Alaska Airlines statement.
The cub was later found uninjured by airport officials. The left engine cowl was damaged and the airline has said that the B737 will need to be repaired over the coming days.
Passengers flying out of Yakutat were flown to Anchorage on another Alaska Airlines aircraft, where they were subsequently rebooked on alternative flights.
Feature Image: Twitter/JACDEC