Bird Hazards to Aircraft. By Hans Blokpoel. Clarke Irwin, Toronto, 1976. xiv -f- 236 pages. £6.65 hardback; £4.20 paperback.
This is a clear, concise, comprehensive, conventional child's guide to how a bird can cause the greatest possible embarrassment to man in the shortest possible time. It is produced under the auspices of the most publicity conscious national committee on the subject, and, as we have come to expect of Canadians, tends to stress local achievements, but deals with the subject nonetheless thoroughly for that. The main headings include birds and bird migration; bird strike statistics; bird-proofing aircraft and engines; on-board equipment to disperse birds; prevention of strikes at airfields and in flight; and organisations working on the problem. There are 445 references extending down to a deadline in the spring of 1974, many of them to obscure departmental memoranda and conference proceedings, and the rest covering a variety of work on related subjects. It is reported that 12 major civil crashes have cost about 100 lives, and the loss of 65 military aircraft (usually equipped with ejection seats) 35 lives, at a total cost of at least $100,000,000. Ther e has also been a vast amount of other expensive damage to and delay of aircraft. Many other incidents have undoubtedly passed unreported or unconfirmed, especially in the military sector, and this category includes the disappearance of a Viscount over the Irish Sea in 1968 (at a time when Bewick's Swans were on the move).