Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) July 14, 2009 -- One of the world's oldest fables the turtle gets to the finish line before the hare, however in New York it is the commercial airliners that are beaten by one of the worldâs slowest creatures, the turtle.
A group of tiny 78 diamond-back terrapin turtles, weighing just 2-3 pounds brought the worldâs largest airplanes to a halt, as the runway was closed for thirty-five minutes.
Representative for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the functions of the New York City's John. F Kennedy, International Airport stated "The turtles just appeared out of the water. It doesnât occur all the time, however it does happen".
These small creatures caused delays at the airport of up to 1 Â½ hours. An airport that handles around 48 million travelers annually. The world travelers, who had to cool their heels, would hardly believe they were being detained by tiny little amphibians. The authorities seized the turtles and let go back into the wild, well away from the boundaries of the airport.
The International Airport at Victoria Falls has also been seen to delay the jet airplanes, while jeeps coerced lions off the landing strip.
In Vanuatu, on the tropical island of Tanna, airplanes have to sometimes buzz the airport to get rid of wild horses off the landing areas.
Both private and commercial airplane report thousands of incidents annually where birds collide with airplanes. The vast majority of hits, however, pose little threat to the aircraft.
A commercial pilot and Western region safety coordinator for the Air Line Pilots Association, Jon Russell said "Bird strikes cost the airline company millions of dollars annually". The impact often happens at low level altitudes, during takeoff, climbing, or landing.
The worst military mishap, involved a United States Air Force Boeing E-3B surveillance plane which encountered a flock of Canadian geese shortly after takeoff from Elmendorf Air Face Base near Anchorage. Twenty-four Air Force personnel were killed.
Numerous airports around the globe have dozens of staff watch over runways and taxiways 24 hours a day, in order to keep the runways clear of wreckage and wildlife. In other nations it could be mercenaries who are the threat to air traffic.
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