Safe Flying

Minot Air Force Base and civilian aircraft share the skies on a daily basis. Minot AFB has programs in place to help keep those skies a safe place to fly. The 5th Bomb Wing Safety Office heads up the Mid-Air Collision Avoidance and the Bird/Wildlife Aircraft Strike Hazard.

Mid-Air Collision Avoidance

The goal of the MACA program is to eliminate midair collisions and reduce close calls. Since 1978, there has been an average of 30 midair collisions in the United States each year. These collisions resulted in an average of 75 deaths per year. There are also over 450 Near Midair Collisions reported each year; no one can calculate the number that has gone unreported! As recently as February, 2006 a civilian pilot was killed in a single plane crash after colliding with an Air Force jet. In many cases, one or both of the aircraft are not aware that a mid-air collision nearly occurred. Particularly in cases where military and civilian aircraft come into close proximity, lack of basic information regarding military flight characteristics creates problems among civilian pilots.

Bird/Wildlife Strike Hazard

Sharing both the sky and the airport environment with birds and other animals has been a concern to aviation personnel for years and their impact on aviation safety has been extensively documented. Since Orville Wright's days to the present day conflicts between wildlife and airplanes have caused damage to aircraft and loss of human life. Bird and other wildlife strikes to aircraft annually cause over $600 million in damage to U.S. civil and military aviation and over 195 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes since 1988.