REVIEW of REVIEWS

Birds Imperil Birdmen’s Safety

Aviators Report Attacks by Eagles—Bird Flocks Insist on Right of Way in the Air.

DAILY TELEGRAPH August 15 1930
REVIEW of REVIEWS

Birds Imperil Birdmen’s Safety

Aviators Report Attacks by Eagles—Bird Flocks Insist on Right of Way in the Air.

DAILY TELEGRAPH August 15 1930

Birds Imperil Birdmen’s Safety

Aviators Report Attacks by Eagles—Bird Flocks Insist on Right of Way in the Air.

DAILY TELEGRAPH

MOST air pilots can speak of curious meetings with birds and winged insects,” writes Major C. C. Turner in the London Daily Telegraph, “and their experiences are now attracting the attention of ornithologists and entomologists,. Unfortunately, few pilots are able to name the species whose strange doings they witness.

“During the air race from Paris to Madrid in 1911, two famous French pilots, Védrines and Gibert, each had an encounter with an eagle in the Pyrenees. Védrines evaded his assailant by manoeuvring out of the way, but Gibert put the challenger to rout by firing at him with a revolver.

“Generally speaking, birds are indifferent to aircraft, but they are at times inquisitive. Piloting a slow machine before the war, I had on several occasions the company of peewits, usually flying in pairs and keeping pace with the machine for considerable distances by its side or a little in front. It may have been chance, but it seemed intentional.

“Pilots agree that birds flying in formation will not turn aside for aircraft. One of our airline pilots encountered a vast flock of big birds near the Alps. They were flying westward in close formation. ‘There were thousands of them, almost wing to wing,’ he says. ‘They flew through a cloud without breaking formation.’ They were right in his path and he was compelled to swerve to avoid danger. One of them was struck and killed.

“A few weeks ago, a pilot arriving at Le Bourget reported that he had run into a great flock of big birds in formation near Boulogne. Two of them were killed by the machine and the body of one was caught in the wires. Its wings were five feet two inches across.

“A pilot who has made a large number of flights from Southampton to Guernsey and back says it is a common experience to find sea gulls keeping up with the machine all the way between these points. The machine normally flies at about seventy miles per hour and it appears, therefore, that the sea gull is capable of this speed.”