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Keeping deer off the runways

deerblockerEast Moline, IL – Nixalite of America offers an effective deer barrier that is an economical alternative to metal or plastic deer fencing: Deer Blocker. 


July 11, 2008
By Nixalite of America

East Moline, IL –
Nixalite of
America offers an effective deer barrier that is an economical
alternative to metal or plastic deer fencing: Deer Blocker. The
high-quality construction, economy and ease of installation make Deer
Blocker a good fit for airport wildlife mitigation applications.

deerblockerMammals are the most common animals other than birds that are associated with aircraft strikes. Mammal strikes are only a small percentage of the total recorded strikes, but strikes with large ungulates including deer are extremely dangerous. The number of white-tailed deer in the U.S. has increased from 100,000 in 1900 to 26 million in 2000. In a 10-year period of 1990-1999, 430 civil aircraft were involved with collisions with deer.


Nixalite’s Deer Blocker is:


  • constructed from UV-resistant heavy-duty polyethylene four-inch square mesh

  • very strong yet lightweight; each strand has a knotted breaking strength of 175 pounds

  • easy to install

  • full eight-foot-high fence, in 100- and 300-foot lengths

  • virtually invisible from normal viewing distances

  • lighter and less expensive than same size metal or wood fencing

  • 5/16-inch border woven into all four edges; no additional supports needed


Installation hardware and fasteners are also available from Nixalite.


Tips for Using Deer Fencing


  • Use deer fencing to protect the entire airport or just selected areas within it.

  • Be sure to completely enclose the area.

  • Accurately measure the path of deer fence. Note any trees or existing objects that could be used to support the fence. Deer Blocker Deer Fence by Nixalite must be supported every 10 to 20 feet. If existing trees and objects are too far apart, install additional posts to maintain this spacing. If trees or objects are not available, use Nixalite’s Deer Fence posts for the entire enclosure.

  • Ground stakes should be used every three to four feet to keep the fencing secure to the ground so the deer won’t be able to go under it.

  • Deer Blocker by Nixalite is very inconspicuous and for new installations bright flags should be put up every six feet to help prevent the deer from running into the fence.


More data from the FAA Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Website

Date: 20 August 2007
Aircraft: Citation 650
Airport: Benton Harbor (MI)
Phase of Flight: Takeoff run
Effect on Flight: Aborted takeoff
Damage: Radome, landing gear, fuselage, pitot tube
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: The pilot saw two deer and hit one. Damage consisted of a cracked radome, bent nose gear door and the pilot tube was pushed into the fuselage skin. Cost of repairs and lost revenue was $97,186. Time out of service was 31 days.

Date: 3 March 2007
Aircraft: Hughes 369
Airport: Gustavus, AK
Phase of Flight: Hover
Effect on Flight: Abrupt landing
Damage: Tail rotor
Wildlife Species: Moose
Comments from Report: A moose, which had been tranquilized for tagging, charged the helicopter and damaged the tail rotor, forcing it to the ground. The helicopter had to be lifted from the scene because it could not fly. The moose was euthanized due to serious injury.

Date: 22 June 2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172
Airport: Mount Olive Muni (NC)
Phase of Flight: Takeoff run
Effect on Flight: Aborted takeoff
Damage: Nose, propeller, landing gear, engine
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: Deer ran into front of plane. It was not seen until the shadows appeared in the landing lights. Aircraft was out of service for two weeks. Cost of repairs was $8,000; other costs totaled $1,000.

Date: 23 May 2006
Aircraft: Beechcraft 60
Airport: Camdenton Memorial (MO)
Phase of Flight: Takeoff run
Effect on Flight: Aborted takeoff, departed end of runway
Damage: Aircraft damaged beyond repair
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: Just prior to rotation at 110 kts, the aircraft hit a deer with the nose, then left main gear, causing it to twist. Pilot pulled the power to idle, swerved sharply and ran off the runway down an embankment. Damaged parts included nose, radome, radar, both engines and propellers, and landing gear. Cost of aircraft was $175,000.

Date: 12 January 2006
Aircraft: Piper 28
Airport: West Branch Community (MI)
Phase of Flight: Landing roll
Effect on Flight: None
Damage: Wing
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: Aircraft hit a deer while landing. Substantial damage to wing. Cost of repairs was $32,000 and time out of service was 40 days. NTSB investigated.

Date: 12 September 2005
Aircraft: Piper Aztec
Airport: Anoka County (MN)
Phase of Flight: Landing roll
Effect on Flight: Not reported
Damage: Engine, prop, wing, landing gear
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: Deer was cut in two by propeller. Photos show significant damage to landing gear. Time out of service was three days, and cost totalled $50,000.

Date: 4 August 2005
Aircraft: C-421
Airport: Rooke Field (TX)
Phase of Flight: Landing roll
Effect on Flight: Separated nose gear
Damage: Nose landing gear, propellers
Wildlife Species: White-tailed deer
Comments from Report: Aircraft hit a deer while landing, which caused the nose gear to collapse. Both propellers were damaged. Cost of repairs estimated at $100,000.