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Coyote clipped by airplane

Canine crosses paths with jet

Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Oct 24/01) - A coyote got the scare of its life last week after it almost got run over by a jet as the plane touched down at the Yellowknife Airport.

Acting airport manager Leo Reedyk said there was no visual damage to the Boeing 737 after the Oct. 17 incident. He said it was unclear whether the plane actually struck the animal.

"If he didn't touch the aircraft, the wind would have thrown him for a loop," said Reedyk.

"It was too close for comfort, which is why we have an aggressive animal control program."

The control tower reported seeing the animal limping from the runway. Wildlife officers searched the area that day but did not find the animal.

Never seen in this area until recently, coyotes have been spotted at the airport several times this summer.

Reedyk said earlier this year another new arrival to the North Slave region, a white-tailed deer, was seen near the runway.

A fence runs around the perimeter of the runway area. The airport uses a variety of noise-making devices to keep animals away, Reedyk said.

Patrols of the perimeter fencing are done on a "regular and as-required basis," he added.

The main danger presented to aircraft by animals is their potential to stall a jet engine.

"If an animal was ingested into an engine ... there are all kinds of scenarios, from 'Whew, that was close,' to a bad situation," Reedyk said.