Other times, in more literal collisions, the results are that you have to make an emergency landing in North Carolina because your airplane hit a deer.
That’s what happened on Wednesday when a Bombardier CRJ 700 began leaking fuel shortly after hitting a deer upon take-off at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The plane landed safely, and none of the 44 passengers or crew members who evacuated were injured, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
There’s no official word on the deer’s condition, though one woman who was on the flight told CBS that passengers heard a definite “thud.” Absurd as it sounds, this sort of collision isn’t unheard of.
More than 1,000 deer have been hit by airplanes across the country in the past two decades, according to FAA data. Birds have it much, much worse. They’re struck by airplanes more than any other type of animal. The agency’s Wildlife Strike Database reads like a gruesome birdwatcher’s logbook. In it, you’ll find snowy owls, northern pintails, cackling geese, western sandpipers, green-winged teals, American wigeons, gulls, starlings, mourning doves—I could go on. (Even more ghastly is the agency’s photo gallery.)