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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 14th Sep 2017, 18:57
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Anyone else had a bird strike in a light aircraft?

A short while ago, while on short final in a C182, I flew through a flock of smallish (thrush-sized) birds and heard a thump.

After landing, I checked the wing and stabilizer leading-edges and the struts, and didnít see any damage. Then I noticed some feathers on a prop blade and blood on the engine cowling. Luckily no damage to the aircraft, although the bird wasnít so lucky.

This was the first time for me in over 3000 flights and no pilots I know have ever mentioned bird strikes. How common is this?
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 19:10
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Hit something sparrow sized in an R44 once. I saw it an instant before it hit. It made quite a bang but no damage.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 19:18
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In a PA28 I hit a sparrow with the starboard wing just after takeoff. No damage to the aircraft.

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Old 14th Sep 2017, 21:14
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Small birds are unlikely to do a lot of damage at typical GA speeds. A goose could be serious. I once saw the result of a family of warthog crossing the strip, one of them made a nasty mess of the nosegear of a C182.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 22:15
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Hit a red kite at 100ft in a glider on the final approach to a gliding airfield, poor thing RSPB took care of him. No damage to the aircraft.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 22:20
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I knew a guy in a Fletcher topdresser who had a hawk enter through the front windscreen.
After impact, the stunned and dying bird went into full attack mode. I reckon the pilot did an excellent job of not losing control at low level.

I overshot once from about 200' to avoid a hawk crossing final. We eyeballed each other. It wasn't giving way. I've taken evasive action on several occasions to avoid any birds I've seen, usually seagulls and similar. Never hit anything.
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 22:47
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Worst shock I had with birds happened on an autumn evening approach to Glasgow.

Came out of cloud on the ILS over the river and saw what I thought was a bit of low stratus directly between me and the numbers.
At the last minute, realised it was geese, quite a few, and went around.
On a gentle walk from the hotel around the back of the airfield the next morning, spotted what had been the cause for concern.
Something approaching 200 greylag geese were having their breakfast in a field just to the side of the runway !

170 odd passengers should be grateful we werenít more tired !! ÖÖ..and I learned about flying from that !
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 22:51
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Passenger in a C150 years ago, approaching Sebring in Florida. As we turned to join the pattern we spotted a couple of turkey vultures thermaling several hundred feet below and a short way ahead - didn't appreciate just how quickly they were climbing. One just went under the starboard wing, no idea about the other. Damn glad we didn't hit either.

Beech T-44 vs turkey vulture
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Old 14th Sep 2017, 23:34
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Mate dented the leading edge from a pheasant on landing a warrior.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 00:20
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Training in a pa28 in Melbourne many years ago, light rain showers and on rotation collected a small flock of seagulls. The windscreen went red like a 007 film. Finished the circuit and rolling out was a seagull head on the runway...the rest of it (and its mates) ceased to exist.

Also hit a bat one night in a shrike. Dinged the leading edge. Clearly the bat's TCAS was u/s....
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 01:25
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Originally Posted by India Four Two View Post
A short while ago, while on short final in a C182, I flew through a flock of smallish (thrush-sized) birds and heard a thump.

After landing, I checked the wing and stabilizer leading-edges and the struts, and didnít see any damage. Then I noticed some feathers on a prop blade and blood on the engine cowling. Luckily no damage to the aircraft, although the bird wasnít so lucky.

This was the first time for me in over 3000 flights and no pilots I know have ever mentioned bird strikes. How common is this?
I42, yourself and I had a rather close encounter with a large gull between downtown LA and Hollywood a few years back.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 01:59
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One was a nocturnal bird on descent at 2am. Loud bang, but just a small crack on the inside of the windshield curve of a C-150.?

The second was a Swanson's Hawk that did not make it out of the way of my landing flare and is now mounted by my front window.

Several other close encounters with hawks, eagles, vultures and sea gulls.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 02:21
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Hit a flock on takeoff with the Aerostar. I could see them trying to get away on the runway, and it was too late to abort - didn't have enough runway left. Luckily, just one hit and he went through the prop and got mashed. Was pretty big, too. No vibration or anything else after it hit, so I decided to continue to destination. Upon landing found the whole fuselage sprayed in guts.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 03:45
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I42, yourself and I had a rather close encounter with a large gull
pb84, Yes I remember that vividly - just south of the Hollywood sign. That could have ruined our whole day! Like my encounter, it was too late to react once we saw it.

Based on the flocks of birds preparing to migrate that I have seen in the past few days and the fact that I saw flashes of orange just before the unfortunate bird's demise, I have concluded that I hit a Robin ( not the European 'Robin Redbreast', but a thrush-sized bird!).

Around our gliding field, we often have encounters with large hawks and occasionally eagles. It is interesting that they will mostly move away as a glider comes to have a look at their thermal. I presume that is because of their good eyesight -they see us coming.

Last edited by India Four Two; 15th Sep 2017 at 04:46.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 06:36
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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.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 07:31
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Hit a big flock of doves just after lift-off in a PA-31 Navajo. This was very late at night and came as a shock as I wasn't aware such birds had a night rating. The sensation was how imagine being hit by heavy calibre machine gun fire feels

Amazingly no damage but the aircraft was very messy.......
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 08:45
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Saw a chap spear a Starling on the pitot of a Beagle Pup at Sywell in 1984. Often wondered how long it would take to cook with the heater on...
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 09:10
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I once took evasive action to avoid a bird.

It was a good call.

She divorced my best friend about five years later .
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 10:05
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It's all about MV squared. I hit a big duck at 500 mph. It smashed the windscreen. It smashed my 'unbreakable visor'. It smashed me. The energy was equivalent to a sledgehammer at 150 mph.
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Old 15th Sep 2017, 10:40
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Collected a black backed gull on climb out into IMC, splattered windscreen made getting back in interesting. Prop chipped small pits in the screen, due chemical content of gull, and bits smeared over the rest of the aircraft, but no serious damage thankfully.
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