Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Birdstrike

Old 9th Sep 2015, 10:45
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Birdstrike

Finally had my first 'close call' last week. And reacted exactly how I hoped I would. I'd been out for a short local flight to get my eye back in after a few weeks off and returned for a few circuits to sharpen up my skills. I was using the northerly runway (32) which is the shortest of Barton's runways and the wind was from 360 at about 8 knots, so a reasonable crosswind component but within limits (both the aircraft and my own).

On my first approach I didn't quite get stable quickly enough and ended up gliding quite a long way down the runway, so I elected to go around quite early on before touching down.

My second approach was much better and much more stable, I had the aircraft trimmed nicely at 65mph and with just 2 stages of flap set because of the crosswind and it felt like a good approach. As I was crossing the road at the end of the runway at about 100ft I caught a glimpse of something black then a sudden bang and feathers everywhere as the blackbird/crow went through the prop to my right. A quick visual assessment by me and I couldn't see/feel any issues so I decided to continue the approach. By this point I was almost over the threshold and continued the approach and landing, which went fine (much better round out and kicked off the crab perfectly). However instead of continuing with further circuits even though the aircraft appeared ok I elected to stay on the ground as I wasn't sure what damage had been done to the engine/prop.

What pleased me most was that at no stage did I panic or fret, I just did a quick assessment of my situation, made a decision and continued the approach to land. I then immediately called the tower to let them know what had happened and that this was now a full stop not a t and g.

I guess the point of this post is that I've always wondered how I would react if something like that happened during one of the most demanding phases of flight. I've always hoped I would be calm and just follow my training, but you never really know do you, until something unexpected happens?

Anyway, it was another first in my aviation career. 1st birdstrike, 1st caa report.

PS - the engine and prop were fine, but I didn't know that at the time..
chillindan is offline  
Old 11th Sep 2015, 04:00
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Welcome to the club

One left a big splat conveniently on the right side of the windshield. At 3am on descent I suddenly spotted what looked like a snowball and promptly stuffed my head under the panel just before hearing a loud bang.

An unfortunate Swanson's hawk is now mounted in my living room. She almost made it past the wingtip when I was flaring a K-21.
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