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The Beech 1900D (B1900) accelerated to V1 (111 kts), when the crew noticed a flock of wood ducks crossing their path. At the same time there was a loss of aircraft performance so the crew rejected the take-off. The aircraft was brought to a stop without further incident.

Six wood ducks had impacted the aircraft in the vicinity of the right engine and caused extensive damage to the right engine and wing. Minor damage was evident in the left engine oil cooler.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority required airports handling aircraft of thirty seats capacity or larger to have a recorded bird hazard management program. At the time of the occurrence, Cooma airport had regular scheduled services by aircraft that did not exceed nineteen persons, however during the ski season aircraft with a capacity exceeding thirty persons operated into Cooma.

Bird dispersal control had been applied early in the morning, approximately twelve hours before the B1900's departure.

Analysis of bird hazard reports since January 2001, indicated an increase in bird numbers at Cooma airport. The airport operator had implemented a bird hazard management program but records showed that the program was not being applied consistently.

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