Sick of Birdstrikes
After Ruud Jakobs took this photo of a flock of birds smashing a cockpit window, the airliner landed safely and with minimal scars. But when a large bird strikes an aircraft, it can inflict damage from a bruised nosecone to a failed engine, as with the mass impact of geese that led a US Airways flight in January 2009 to land in the Hudson River. To address the problem, the PGG Wrightston Turf company of New Zealand has developed Avanex, a grass seed for use near airports. The seed is infected with a natural fungus called endophyte. Ducks, geese, and the insects they eat are all turned ill by the fungus, temporarily and non-fatally, and so learn to keep off the grass.