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Old 31st Oct 2004, 17:17
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 20
O.K. I can’t stand it anymore without dusting this one off.

In the spring of 1970 a Grumman Albatross from 442 (Transport and Rescue) Squadron was enroute back to home plate at CFB Comox on Vancouver Island from a search in the Terrace area (check your atlas for the British Columbia coast).

For reasons best known to himself, the Skipper (Captain Danger, but not to his face) decided that it would be a great idea to do a touch-and-go at Port Hardy, just to break up the evening flight. With dusk but a memory, we attempted to execute said touch-and-go (‘roller’ to you real ale types), but turned it into a stop when we executed a trespassing deer instead, and realized from the visual and sound cues that it had impacted something on the port side. Vancouver Island deer are a small sub-species and there was no chance it would have hit the engine on the high-winged Albert, but risk management (the current buzz-phrase for CDF) made stopping sound judgment with adequate runway left (unlike the heavy Canberra with rapidly diminishing options).

With the amphibious beast halted on the runway, and local traffic, if any, advised of our status on the aerodrome, the Skipper dispatched the Flight Engineer to investigate the event. When Marty went out the main door, he was carrying a green plastic garbage bag as well as his flashlight. (?? I was new and learning not to question local practice).

After what seemed a long time for a damage recce, and the Captain’s increasingly strident rhetorical queries as to the greasie’s whereabouts, Marty climbed back aboard carrying the plastic bag, from which protruded a pair of hooves. He got back on intercom and the Skipper asked if there was any damage. Marty announced that the forward area of the deer was a write-off, but that the hindquarters were just fine, thanks!

“I meant the f___ng airplane you a--h--e!”, said the boss in a fine demonstration of leadership in action.

“Oh! No sweat sir. The left main tire (tyre) caught him in the shoulder; not a mark on the hull, and the brake lines are OK.”
(more muttered invective from the left seat as we got the operation back on the rails to head home) Memories.
I’ve had lots of close calls with more deer and a few canine species over the years, but no more mayhem.

A critter strike should be something you’ve thought about if you operate in places where such events are possible. I wouldn’t stop a jet from a speed beyond 100 knots unless I was convinced that it had hit an engine and done serious damage. For a big jet, with nacelles way up high, that probably means I’m going flying, barring a very low-probability bank shot off the nose gear. With a 737 or equivalent intake height, the species matters: fox OK, deer bad. I shudder to think that a moose might get involved one day, but it's very possible with the Bambi huggers impeding the pre-emptive application of natural selection principles.

The coyotes are growing bigger these days too, methinks, but I do like real ale. Rat and twig bits? ;o)

madtrap is offline