Authorities say a cub nearby was unharmed in the accident.
On Saturday evening, an Alaskan Airlines jetliner had just landed when it struck a brown bear sow along the runway. No one on board was injured, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
The bear was killed, but a cub, estimated to be 2 years old, was uninjured.
Yakutat Airport crew had cleared the runway for Boeing 737-700 about 10 minutes before it was expected to land, said Sam Dapcevich, a public information officer for Alaska's Department of Transportation. No wildlife had been spotted during the check, but the pilots are reported to have seen two bears crossing the runway as the plane slowed after landing.
"The nose gear missed the bears, but the captain felt an impact on the left side after the bears passed under the plane," a statement from Alaska Airlines said.
Alaska Airlines flight 66 hit and killed a bear while landing here in Yakutat last night. No one on the plane was...Posted by Robert E-bear Johnson on Sunday, November 15, 2020
The pilots saw the bear lying 20 feet away from the middle of the landing strip as the jetliner taxied. Damage was done to the plane's left engine.
"Our maintenance technicians are working to repair the plane, which will take a couple of days," the airline said.
Airport crews removed the bear from the runway, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will take the remains.
Dapcevich said that planes have reportedly hit geese, deer, caribou, and other animals in Alaska in the past, but this was the first time he'd heard of a bear being struck.
Employees at the Yakutat Airport undergo "annual wildlife hazard training," said Dapcevich, adding that crews followed the normal procedure on Saturday evening.