Bear Has Deadly Airplane Encounter At Yakutat Airport

One of my favorite films, Miracle (chronicling the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team’s gold medal. One throwaway scene that I couldn’t find video for was when Kurt Russell’s Coach Herb Brooks character is speaking to his wife from a rural airport returning after a game:

Herb Brooks: [to Patti on the phone] We were taxiing out to the runway, right? And we… you know, we kind of hit a moose. No, the moose is fine, but we gotta make sure that the plane’s all right, so some of the boys are pushing it back so these guys can take a look at it. Patti, the moose is okay. He ran off. I saw it.

Unfortunately for a bear that was at the wrong airport runway at the wrong time, another critter/plane collision didn’t go well. Here’s more from KTUU:

An Alaska Airlines flight landing in Yakutat Saturday reportedly hit a bear while landing. According to a statement from Alaska Airlines, while flight 66 was preparing to land, the flight crew spotted two bears crossing the runway.

They say the nose gear missed the bears but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane. According to Alaska Airlines, the captain stopped to check the engine indications were normal, and determined it was safe to taxi to park.

While taxiing the plane, the pilots spotted a bear lying about 20 feet off the center of the runway. Alaska Airlines says six passengers were on board and no one was injured.

The bear had no chance.