Alaska Jet Vs. Black Bear


An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 landing at Yakutat, Alaska, on Saturday struck and killed a black bear, one of two crossing the runway. According to reports, airport crews had “cleared the runway” some 10 minutes before the jet was to arrive and had noted no wildlife. The bears were seen by the cockpit crew during the rollout after landing, just prior to impact.

“The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane,” a statement from Alaska Airlines said. Photos show the left engine nacelle damaged by the impact. Apparently, the black bear sow was killed but her 2-year-old cub was uninjured. None of the six passengers on board was injured. 

The flight originated at Cordova and was en route to Juneau from Yakutat. Passengers originally booked on the damaged 737 were put on another aircraft and flown to Anchorage. “Our maintenance technicians are working to repair the plane, which will take a couple of days,” Alaska Airlines said.

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      • David is correct, a lot of the in-state air traffic in Alaska carries cargo first and passengers second. I’m not sure how many, but some of the 737s used up there have the passenger area walled off to allow more cargo room on the upper deck. Flights to the north slope usually had 15-20 passengers in a small cabin area and the rest was full of freight. Towns down the coast toward Juneau are accessible only by boat or air.