An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 hit and killed a brown bear as it landed at Yakutat Airport in the far south-east of Alaska in the weekend. None of the passengers or crew were injured during the incident but the left-hand engine cowl was damaged and had to be repaired, which will take a couple of days. A two-year-old cub was found uninjured nearby. The aircraft landed in the hours of darkness. Even if workers regularly clear the runway and surrounding area of wildlife. Airport crew members had cleared the runway about 10 minutes before the flight was expected to land.
The plane departed from the town of Cordova and was scheduled to stop in Juneau after leaving Yakutat but the flight not continued. Planes previously have been reported to hit deer, geese, caribou and other animals in Alaska. The state has no road access to the outside world. Yakutat Airport origins date from 1940. It has now an average of 52 aircraft operations per day.