AviationAddict From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 623 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6950 times:
I like to spend a lot of my down time plane spotting at DCA and I've noticed a nearly constant, loud explosion-like sound in the general area of the airport almost everytime I've been down there. I assume it has something to do with keeping the birds off the runways, but I'm not sure. Does anyone know anything about this?
Atomother From United States of America, joined May 1999, 440 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 6797 times:
I spent plenty of time there this fall and heard them alot there, the funny thing was I don't think they have any affect on the birds really. I actually saw them sitting right next to the machine that makes the noises and they didn't even flinch when it went off. I have a few photos that I will try and upload of the birds watching a plane land, hopefully it makes it in.
Ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6756 times:
Quoting Atomother (Reply 3): I spent plenty of time there this fall and heard them alot there, the funny thing was I don't think they have any affect on the birds really. I actually saw them sitting right next to the machine that makes the noises and they didn't even flinch when it went off. I have a few photos that I will try and upload of the birds watching a plane land, hopefully it makes it in.
That's because they're all deaf now.
Which isn't such a bad thing, because they won't hear the planes coming either at this point, and won't get startled and fly into the path. One would hope at least, otherwise their deafening birds for no reason at all.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
APFPilot1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6710 times:
I really do hate birds when I am flying. The approach to APF from the east brings you right over the dump at about a grand and they just love to hang out there. Not to mention that departure to the east brings you over the everglades and they love it there too Ive seen them as high as 3000.
D L X From United States of America, joined May 1999, 11414 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 6658 times:
Wow, misleading title... I thought this was going to be a report of a possible incident.
I don't often see that many birds around DCA, but on my last visit, I was shocked to see a cab driver throwing bread out of his window at Gravelly Point. A flock of a thousand gulls flew in and hovered in the area. As an American MD-80 came through, I knew I was about to witness an accident (and got out of the way). Fortunately, there was no accident. There was a hard landing though, as the pilot gunned the engines to rise above the flock, and then had to drop quickly to land. I know it was a hard landing because you could hear the impact fairly loudly, and the plane bounced.
Some cops came by about 20 minutes later, but the cabby had left.
Georgetown From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 239 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6619 times:
Yep, as people have said, the loud bangs are for the birds. If you walk down towards the inlet off the Potomac you can see the source (it'a a fairly obvious looking double-barreled air cannon near the opposite shore). There's others placed at different points at the end of the runway as well. I remember the first time I went down there years back I had no idea what it was either. It's also true that sometimes the birds just won't move, so every now and then you'll see a guy walk down and fire off a couple reall loud and bright flares to get the birds out of the area.
AviationAddict From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6332 times:
Quoting D L X (Reply 7): I don't often see that many birds around DCA, but on my last visit, I was shocked to see a cab driver throwing bread out of his window at Gravelly Point. A flock of a thousand gulls flew in and hovered in the area
I see this allllll the time and it really irritates me. There are signs all over the place that say "Feeding of birds prohibited at all times" yet people continue to do it. I guess they aren't interested in aviation and just don't put two and two together: lots of birds a few hundred feet from the end of a runway = bad situation.
Quoting Atomother (Reply 3): the funny thing was I don't think they have any affect on the birds really
I agree with you. The larger birds, like the gulls and pigeons, tend to stay over by gravelly point (which tends to be really bad for the paint job on my car ) but a lot of the smaller birds will still flock right over to the airport infield. Although, I will say that I've never seen a bird on the actually runway or taxiway, but then again, the near constant stream of large jets probably make it hard for them to find a suitable place to land on!
Mbm3 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 844 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6213 times:
On a related note, you should see all of the efforts at CLE to keep the birds off of the landside architectural features (the glass overhang over arrivals). Numerous pigeons and starlings have made a VERY nasty mess. Initially they used a sound track of a hawk, but the birds soon caught on. These days, an airport employee drives by on the departure deck clapping two pieces of wood together loudly.
Let Me Tell You, Landing A 772ER Is Harder Than It Looks!
Lindy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5413 times:
Bird lovers and kyte amators are two biggest problems at DCA. Whenever I see them I will go and talk to them and explain that they can't feed birds in that park. If they ignore me and keep feeding birds I'm calling airport operations. Usually within 5-10 minutes airport police is on the scene and giving those people just warnings. But everyday you will find idiots feeding birds at GP. Here are some pictures that I took in December/January at Gravelly Point. Thats only small fraction of number of pictures I have people feeding birds. I take pictures of those people when I call police only. For the proof that they broke the law, and ignored my warnings. To hell with those idiots.
777WT From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4581 times:
At HPN they have the same thing and installed it recently. But they mentioned to keep it effective, they have to relocate them once in a while otherwise birds would know where the noise is coming from and come from a different direction to get around them.
They are powered by propane and goes off every 2-3 mins.
Simairlinenet From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4499 times:
One of my friends that works with me at DCA never likes getting out of the vehicle around the bird-guns because they startle him so much. A nice trick to play on unfamiliar people is to drive right next to the bird-gun and sit there talking until it goes off.
A few months ago I had to ask a little boy to stop flying his kite at Gravelly Point. Every summer we (with USDA) have a geese roundup where we relocate the Canadian Geese that live along the Potomac.
We also have a family of foxes that live near the base of runway 33. It's actually a benefit, since they kill off rodents and other small animals.
: A picture I took at DCA of the propane cannon in question is below. The reason I took this picture is that there's a farmer down the road from me who
: I remember the first time I was down there plane spotting and I heard the bangs. At first I thought they were coming from Bolling AFB across the Potom
: LOL! Priceless. It wouldn't be nearly as cool as birds with freakin' lasers on their heads. Was that the shotgun-like noise during the last air show
28 D L X
: DCA's runways are short. That means pilots have to be on their game to land there. Running into a flock of birds on short final (and I mean SHORT!) i
: Misquote, as reply 18 is as followed: The person you actually quoted was in Reply 19.
: Not hard to believe. These people are idiots. I was at Gravelly Point yesterday (2/5) and there was a family and their kids doing the same thing. Gul
: Guys, Just got back from Gravelly Point at DCA. Lots of birds and few people feeding birds. This time they stopped feeding birds when I politely asked
: Cool. Those guns look just like the thing I need to give my neighbors a rise. And they are relatively inexpensive. I have this neighbor with kids that