If you want to find official reports about plane crashes and other accidents, the National Transportation Safety Board has a searchable database of incident reports on its Web site.
The nice thing about this site is you can do a keyword search of the narratives in the incident reports. The US Airways crash landing in New York appeared to be caused by birds striking the aircraft. If you’re curious about how often birds hit planes and how serious these incidents are, you can do a search for “bird” or “birds” and read dozens of reports that pop up.
Most reports describe the damage caused by birds as minor but there were some bird-strikes that caused substantial damage. Here’s a narrative of a bird-strike incident that occurred in Jasper, Texas last year:
AIRCRAFT DEPARTED JASPER COUNTY BELL FIELD (KJAS) VFR TO BEAUMONT/PORT ARTHUR, SOUTHEAST TEXAS REGINONAL AIRPORT (KBPT). ON CLIMB-OUT, AFTER TAKEOFF AIRCRAFT SUSTAINED A BIRD STRIKE TO THE RIGHT WING. PILOT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY AND LANDED AT KBPT WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT. AIRCRAFT DAMAGE CONSISTED OF THE FOLLOWING: LEADING EDGE DEFORMATION, TEAR IN SKIN AFT OF THE DE-ICE BOOT, RIB AND STRINGER DAMAGE. THE DAMAGED AREA WAS APPROXIMATELY 24 INCHES FROM RIGHT WING TIP.
You can look up incidents by aircraft type, airline, state, and other descriptions.