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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 19th Sep 2017, 18:16
  #41 (permalink)  
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I must admit the picture was part of a series, and taken from the most dramatic angle. If you were to look at a full-front picture of the whole aircraft, the effect is less dramatic. A PA28 has eight ribs, so the impacted area is only about 1/7th of wing.
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 09:31
  #42 (permalink)  
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I once hit a crow whilst riding my motorbike. Speed was far greater than some of those mentioned in earlier posts. It struck my right mirror, then my shoulder before ripping the visor from my passengers helmet (he happened to be glancing over my shoulder at the time).

I saw the crow sitting on the central barrier, it took off and started to fly across the motorway and would not have been a problem had it continued. However, for some bizarre reason it turned 90 degrees to follow the road and was batted up the backside by us.

My mirror was a write-off, I had a bruised shoulder that ached for weeks, and my passenger was traumatised along with all those who saw us at the next service station. The inside of his helmet was full of blood, guts and feathers and he looked like an extra from The Walking Dead :-)

It made us wonder what effect a bird of that size would have on something travelling at 450kts as opposed to our ~100kts.
Old 20th Sep 2017, 19:26
  #43 (permalink)  
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Taking off in the Chippy at Barton, the usual flock of gulls that like the wet muddy Barton turf took off and cleared to the sides as they heard the approaching blatter of the Gypsy Major. All except one, who took up the runway heading.

It went through the prop. No damage except a bloodied prop blade, but I landed back to check just in case, then departed for the planned flight.

When I landed back after the flight and had put the aeroplane away, the groundsman appeared at the hangar door with the remains in a plastic bag. Juvenile black headed gull, apparently.

I did have a soaring buzzard appear suddenly from below on final, between the wing root leading edge and the cowling; it shot over the canopy top very close - no contact but it made me duck!
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 21:17
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Shaggy Sheep Driver
Gypsy Major.
A hundred lines, Shaggy, repeat after me: Gipsy Major!
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 08:51
  #45 (permalink)  
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Sorry Treaders. It's been a few years now.
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Old 21st Sep 2017, 19:51
  #46 (permalink)  
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Bird strike really depends on the area you are flying. During the last 700 hours I killed 4 small birds, 3 on takeoff, 1 on final, all without further damage to the aircraft. My first bird was a seagull at 3,000ft and did cost a four digit rib repair. I would say bird strikes are pretty common.
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Old 24th Sep 2017, 17:45
  #47 (permalink)  
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I made five confirmed kills with my experimental. Nearly all during first 1,000 hours of operation. A goose, a seagull, a finch followed by a bat and other sparrow size birdie. Luckily not much damage was inflicted (knock the wood). Later I learned how to share airspace with them.
PS Couldn't insert images due to low post count.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 10:34
  #48 (permalink)  
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Small birds are unlikely to do a lot of damage at typical GA speeds.
You're obviously not a motorcyclist. Sorry to contradict you, but this is so untrue.

I landed at a French airfield a few years ago just after a Cessna 172 landed following a bird strike. The father, mother and daughter had just been rushed off to hospital. The windscreen was shattered. There was blood galore inside the aircraft, and it was not just from the bird. There was much internal damage and was a fairly horrific sight.

Cocooned in a car or aeroplane cabin, one doesn't realize what it is like to be doing just 70mph against the air, as on a motorbike. And the force of impact increases with the square of the velocity. 90mph gives almost double the force of 70mph and on a motorbike you really know it, and that is slower than even a Cessna 172 in the cruise.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 12:20
  #49 (permalink)  
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I went through a flock of about 12 seagulls at 200 ft on final to Hawarden. It was like a Red Arrows Bomb-burst, with each seagull taking one number of a clock face. We missed all of them, by some very good luck.
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Old 29th Sep 2017, 13:40
  #50 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by N666BK
Later I learned how to share airspace with them.
What's the secret? I've hit 2, and I haven't worked it out other than lights on so they see you coming, and they'll probably (but not always) dive.
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Old 2nd Oct 2017, 23:01
  #51 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BossEyed
What's the secret? I've hit 2, and I haven't worked it out other than lights on so they see you coming, and they'll probably (but not always) dive.
I developed a scan. I do a fair amount of low level flying there are tons of ornithopters. Two seconds on average after detecting a bird at 130 kts is enough to make an evasive maneuver. One sec is tight and application of controls is abrupt. 3+ seconds go long way. Geese usually dive, seagulls below 100 feet move laterally and soaring eagles often don't move much unless you are within 30-50 feet from them.
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Old 3rd Oct 2017, 19:17
  #52 (permalink)  
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I fly at 100 to 115kts, and find birds avoid me. Scottish golden eagles seem very reasonable. I've got one turning away on video, but I never saw it at the time. I don't have lights.
Bonxies (Great Skuas) will attack, but not commit suicide. From the pax seat, low over the sea, I watched one take off, intercept, and have control problems in the propwash. It managed to avoid the tail.
Perhaps violent manoeuvres make us more difficult for them to avoid.
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Old 4th Oct 2017, 09:38
  #53 (permalink)  
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Lights on so they see you coming? Suggests BossEyed...

Now there's a good idea! ! ! and not just for avoiding birds.

At Wellesbourne, while waiting for an engineer to check out my PA18, it was a glomy day. Typical November in the UK. I was visiting the tower, observing the locals in a busy busy circuit.

And how many aircraft in the circuit had their lights on?

Only one. The rest emerged from the gloom without warning. Is there a rule in this country says don't worry about saving lives....mustn't wear out the battery!
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Old 4th Oct 2017, 10:41
  #54 (permalink)  
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Only one bird strike on the leading edge on finals, but no damage, I think it was a gull.

I feel sure at one stage, you were meant to send the bird to the CAA for identification, that is if you could find it!
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Old 4th Oct 2017, 11:28
  #55 (permalink)  
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Ooh, good, an excuse to tell my bird strike story. The relevance is just to say that not all bird strikes involve a loud bang followed by lots of blood and feathers, although I imagine that most do.

Sometime in 2010, one nice afternoon, to keep my hand in, I decided to pop to Halton to do twice round Aylesbury with a T&G between each. Turning final first time round, I glimpsed a bird fly up in front of me. There was no noise or blood or feathers so I thought that it had missed me, as birds usually do. I did the T&G and as I climbed away, at maybe three hundred feet, I got a face full of evil smelling smoke. Assume engine failure, nose down, throttle back, look for field. Realise smoke has stopped, no nasty noises, prop turning, no oil spill evident. Apply partial power, call " Golf blogs blogs mayday, smoke, turning back". My brain reminds me that turning back gets you killed so I start a low level, part power circuit following the airfield boundary. I should explain that Halton is a big level WW1 style grass airfield so at any time I could have turned in and landed. The circuit and landing were fine, I cancelled the mayday and taxied to the hangar. No signs of distress either in the engine bay or behind the panel. I wrote a report (mayday and bird strike both reportable) and went home. As I drove away, I noticed one of the instructors doing engine runs. She got the same face full of smoke and also could not work out why. A subsequent inspection by a technician showed that a small bird had gone through the prop arc, down the cabin air intake (aircraft was a PA28) and lodged in the heat exchanger around the exhaust manifold. Hence, at high power, the remains began to smoke.

Lessons: bird strike is not always as dramatic as expected; smoke does not always mean fire; following the drills works; and even the most simple local flight can turn into an unexpected drama.

My then boss had a buzzard strike in his R44 in 2014. It came through the windscreen and landed on his passenger's knee. They landed, disposed of the bird, donned all available clothing and carried on (passenger in the back behind the pilot, it now being rather drafty in the passenger seat).
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Old 6th Oct 2017, 09:41
  #56 (permalink)  
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I hit a pigeon with a PA 18 at Berlin-Tempelhof, just after take-off, altitude 150 ft or so. I saw it a fracture of a second before it went through the prop. I landed immediately and checked the aircraft over. Found no damage (except to the bird). Took off again.

Being a charter customer at this (not exactly cheap) flight school, I usually didn't have to clean the aircraft after flight. In this case I did it voluntarily.

I fly gliders a lot and glider pilot thoroughly enjoy thermalling with birds of prey. Sometimes they are just a few dozen feet away. Usually they look at you when you share the same altitude band. When you get too close for their liking, they look at you angrily and move away - usually down.
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 06:03
  #57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by flugholm
I fly gliders a lot and glider pilot thoroughly enjoy thermalling with birds of prey.
This is my favourite memory too from my gliding club days
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 05:30
  #58 (permalink)  
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I hit a bird of some kind in my old Bonanza. I never saw it, but recall hearing and kind of feeling a bump, but I thought it was just light turbulence. When I landed, I had a nice dent in the top of the left outboard wing section. We put on a patch, painted and signed it off.
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 18:58
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1. IR skills test. Hit a red kite on climb out at about 300ft. Probably one of the shortest skills tests ever!
2. Going around at Guernsey at 400ft or so. Small bird (starling/lapwing) went down the left intake (PA31).
3. 0300 local over Ireland at 5000ft. No idea what it was but a nice red streak down the windscreen.
4. Bird-of-prey of some sort whilst over Sharjah at 1500ft. Smashed a spinner and a few other bits.
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Old 10th Oct 2017, 23:56
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Herring gull took out windscreen leaving only jaggy shards of perspex round the edges and gull feathers, blood, and snot round my pax. Made PAN call but couldn't hear reply due to noise in cockpit. Announced my intentions for immediate landing at nearest airport, changed frequency to suit (could hear their responses) and landed (to the open mouthed expressions of various students and trial flighters waiting on the apron).

Whole thing didn't take that long; subsequent paperwork did.
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