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Anyone else had a bird strike in a light aircraft?

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Anyone else had a bird strike in a light aircraft?

Old 15th Sep 2017, 16:54
  #21 (permalink)  
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Many years ago on final to WW in a Tiger Moth, a flock of starlings flew right at me. I thought that they went over or under me, but on landing one of the ground crew pulled out a bird's wing from the bracing wires. Made me feel sad for a fellow aviator!
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 16:57
  #22 (permalink)  
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In Sudan, while spraying in a Piper Pawnee, I had a scary encounter. We were spraying against locusts and flew 2m about the crop, which was 3-4' tall. Each field required about 6 strips i.e passes, to cover it. Locusts are the pet food for a sparrow like bird, but I didn't know that. I dropped down to spray height, 90kts, on the first pass and a huge carpet, nearly the size if the field, lifted off right in front of me. It was swarm of these birds. The engine cowling was nearly full of flesh & feathers, the leading edges were blasted with blood & guts and the trailing edges between the spray booms were full of bodies. The BBQ smell was nauseating and I had to break off and return to base, about 10 mins flying. Fortunate the cockpit windscreen remained intact, but the eyebrow air vent was clogged with detritus.
We called off that field for the day, and in future and ground guys go out to 'beat' the fields. They too had to be careful as some years before a local guys and been out in the crop, doing whatever, and had not listened to the chief's warning not to venture into that field. he heard the a/c, wondered WTF, stood up and lost his head.
Strong a/c the Pawnee.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 16:59
  #23 (permalink)  
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The biggest bird I ever hit was a sea eagle on short finals to Masirah Island in Oman in an Argosy. It had a wing span of somewhere near 2 metres. It went through the D-box of the starboard wing leading edge right back to the spar.

It took several days to fix the aeroplane but the awful thing was sitting there with a cold beer watching the partner soaring around the island looking for his wife. I was told that sea eagles were monogamous and paired up for life. How could I tell him that I didn't mean to hit the love of his life?

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Old 15th Sep 2017, 18:33
  #24 (permalink)  
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Lot of recent collision between vultures and light aircraft over the Pyrenees, especially on the Spanish side some fatal. A controller from paris CDG got killed last year with 2 other pax in a Robin DR400 from the Creil aeroclub after a collision with one.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 18:39
  #25 (permalink)  
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Just a sparrow....

Prop cut his head off which bounced off the screen leaving a short bloody trail. Body cracked the fibreglass surround of the cowl as it entered and landed on the cylinders. Was nicely cooked by time we landed. Even a sparrow has impact at 100 knots 😕
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 22:09
  #26 (permalink)  
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My first bird was a hawk when landing a Pawnee after a glider tow. He popped up from below and hit the intersection of the main and jury strut. Splat. Second bird was a turkey vulture sliced by the flying wires in a Pitts S2A, also short final.
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Old 16th Sep 2017, 18:12
  #27 (permalink)  
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Never hit any birds either with glider or power - cruising or towing gliders.

But grateful to all those soaring feathered friends, especially all those red kites that have spread throughout southern England, they indicate best lift.
The local soaring hawks - buzzards? over Tysoe village are special friends; if I found the thermal before they do, they wing over and join...and soon outclimb the K13.
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Old 16th Sep 2017, 23:29
  #28 (permalink)  
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Very likely buzzards Mary.
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Old 17th Sep 2017, 16:35
  #29 (permalink)  
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25 November 2010 (says my log book). Approaching R21 at Cranfield I notice a flock of gulls settled in the touchdown area. No problem - if they don't shift I'll go around. They scattered so I continued. One bird decided to do a 180 and flew in front of me just as I flared. I heard and felt a thump, which seemed to come from the main gear. Landed, vacated the runway, reported the strike and shut down. The gull had impacted the right wing tip, as shown below. It did not survive.

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Old 17th Sep 2017, 18:46
  #30 (permalink)  
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While involved in Quelea bird control in Tanzania we had a Bell 206 helicopter fly into a flock of these creatures. They flock in thousands. All the canopies were broken and birds were flying around inside the cockpit. The engine intake had around 40+ dead birds wedged in, how it kept running I have no idea. We fitted snow deflectors after this incident to give a little more protection..
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Old 17th Sep 2017, 21:04
  #31 (permalink)  
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Having hit a Pheasant, at 56MPH (Me, not it) with my truck*, and seeing the mess it made of the windscreen, I'd not want to hit one whilst in an aircraft, at xx? feet.

*Southbound A1 near the East of England Showground, at Peterborough. It crossed my path and then did a 180 degree turn, to avoid a northbound H.G.V. Second time of crossing in front of me, it wasn't as lucky as the first time!
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Old 17th Sep 2017, 22:10
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Instructor of mine was doing night CX at Toussus-le-Noble (near Paris) in a C172 when all of a sudden the windscreen exploded and he found a seagull dead in his lap. Joked about it afterwards, but was glad he had someone else in the plane. Believe the pilot under instruction continued to land.

A friend of mine was on an exercise with an instructor in a PA28 W of White Waltham when part of the prop seemed to disintegrate. Landed safely, with some power on I believe. They and the engineers came to the conclusion it was a red kite that hit it. Plenty orbit in the 25 undershoot as well over the allotments and used to lead to some weaving going by a/c on finals when I was flying there a few years back.
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Old 18th Sep 2017, 08:38
  #33 (permalink)  
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Had a close one lifting from a friends garden in a little R22 when a swan came up from behind a low tree line right in front of me. Thankfully it was looking out too and we managed to avoid each other, don't think it would have ended well if we'd hit.

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Old 18th Sep 2017, 10:17
  #34 (permalink)  
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One thing I've noticed is that most birds (hawks excepted, maybe) don't want to tangle with an aircraft, but often appear confused as to what avoiding action to take. (I see this from the tower frequently.)

The moment you start to bank, the bird/s will immediately bank the other way (if they're alarmed) to avoid a conflict. (They probably see it as avoiding a predator.)

This applies to (most) seagulls, anyway, and most other birds I've swerved to avoid.

I doubt it applies to geese. Geese seem remarkably unmaneouverable. I've witnessed a kestrel take out a goose - there were a pair of them in a shallow climb, maybe 300' up, and the predator dived from well above that, yelling it's throat out. I could see the geese 'rubbernecking' and generally looking agitated, but did they try and turn? Not even a degree. The kestrel hit the trailing bird, creating a minor explosion of feathers, and it just dropped out of the sky. We heard the sound of the first impact (from about a km away) as it hit the ground, then the second ground-strike thump. Quite spectacular.

Sully didn't stand a chance.
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Old 18th Sep 2017, 14:03
  #35 (permalink)  
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Took out a guinea fowl with the wheel in South Africa one time...
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Old 18th Sep 2017, 14:27
  #36 (permalink)  
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I've had 7 (8?)

- Took one on the nose in a ASK-23 glider
- Propeller tip of a Piper Cub during PPL training
- Piper Aztec at night while descending out of 4000', bounced off the right side and ended up in the engine.
- Hit 3 while taking off in a DA 42, one bounced off the left prop, one went into the radiator and one bounced the canopy.
- Hit a bird in a DA-40 the next day
- Hit a turkey buzzard in a DA42, he was thermalling on downwind and I was looking at the traffic on final when I caught movement in the corner of my eye.
Turned my head and I swear we had eye contact. Intrepid aviator as he was...tucked his wings in and cartwheeled over the canopy.
Thought we got away with it till I felt the impact on the tail.
After landing a boroscope inspection revealed a rib broken off in the horizontal stabilizer.
This damage wasn't visible from the outside. Wipe the blood and it would have passed every preflight inspection. You had to get a step ladder and a magnifying glass to see the micro cracking in the outer skin layer. Testament to the strength of 'plastic' airplanes.
$20,000 in damages.

Same year two pilots perished as their tail came off in a Seminole at night after hitting geese.

For reference how big these b'stards are:

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Old 18th Sep 2017, 14:38
  #37 (permalink)  
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mary meagher:

The hawks in Aden had no discipline at all and would circle in any direction that took their fancy. Note the repair to the starboard wing of one of our T-21s.
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Old 18th Sep 2017, 18:37
  #38 (permalink)  
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A link i came across the other day: Tipsy Nipper Februry 2013 in California


The airplane was in cruise flight about 2,000 feet above the ground when several witnesses reported hearing a loud "crack," "pop," or "snap" sound and then looking up and seeing something separate from the airplane and then pieces falling to the ground. The outboard 4 feet of the right wing was found about 2,000 feet away from the main wreckage, and a turkey vulture carcass was found near the wing section. Postaccident examinations of the wing section revealed blood spots and a downy barbule, which was identified as a fragment of a turkey vulture feather."

Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The airplane's impact with a turkey vulture in cruise flight, which resulted in the structural
failure of the right wing and the subsequent loss of control.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 16:22
  #39 (permalink)  
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This was the accident I was referring too:

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Old 19th Sep 2017, 17:23
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Originally Posted by BackPacker
Hit a seagull on short final (doing about 65 knots) in a PA28 a few years ago. Right wing, right between the two outer ribs. Made a huge dent, with the edges of the aluminium plating torn from the rivets and whatnot. The repair took three weeks.
Was that bird in a tree when you hit it?:
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