Just as Doug Drost was landing at the Shell Lake airport, his wife, Karen Drost, saw something hurtling out of the darkness toward their Cessna 210. Something big. “Deer, deer, deer!” she screamed.
“He just came running full bore,” she said. “It’s not like a car, where you can hit your brakes. We thought we missed him. And then we heard the clunk.”
That July 28, 2010 hit on the northwestern Wisconsin runway — which caused $12,000 in damage — is a story that plays out over and over in this increasingly deer-ridden country.
Deer-airplane damage by the numbers
1,155: The number of reported animal-aircraft hits or near-misses in Wisconsin since 1990, including birds, mammals and other creatures.
$1.5 million: Total cost (in 2010 dollars) of the 144 strikes that resulted in damage.
$1 million: Damage caused by the 35 deer strikes — two-thirds of the total.
Source: FAA Wildlife Strike Database