Our opinion on the Deer Fence

Silvano and Antonella Gai


In the discussion about the Deer Fence facts are more important than opinions.


Therefore we want to mention the “NTSB report LAX02LA048”, available online at:



It is the NTSB report of our accident. On December 13, 2001, at about 17:55 PST our Piper Saratoga was completely destroyed after it collided with a deer during landing flare at Pine Mountain Lake airport. We were unbelievably lucky not to be injured, but the outcome might have been dramatically different.


That was the scariest moment in our lives; the time spent skidding on the belly of the plane without any control seemed eternal. Later we realized that the warning on the AF/D was not enough to protect pilots and their passengers.


We strongly believe that:


1)      if the deer fence had already been in place, the accident would have been avoided;


2)      if by mistake we had hit the deer fence during taxiing that would have caused much less damage to our plane.


The fact is that deer are extremely dangerous and any measure to reduce their number and their incursions on the runway must be supported.


We highly applaud the work of our airport director and the democratic process that he has put in place to collect feedback on the deer fence.


We hope that the deer fence will stay, be extended and be integrated by other deer deterrents.