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Thread: Bird Strikes ?

  1. #1
    Member Rumbarr's Avatar
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    Default Bird Strikes ?

    Hey gang I bought this dvd http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119051/ called The Edge . Bush pilot gets hit by a flock of Canadien Geese, I think it was at least . Does this happen or something that has been a problem ?
    Alaska bound !

  2. #2

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    I don't think hitting a bird is too uncommon. I've hit a couple. The most startling was a seagull that hit the aileron counterweight while climbing out in a Beaver. I'd just as soon avoid hitting geese or swans though.

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    I've hit Swallows on the outer wing leading edges. No big deal in those cases. The birds that scare me are the eagles. I've come too close for comfort a couple of times. One episode had me close my eyes and duck for cover. I have no idea how we didn't collide.

    Are geese a problem? Hell yes. An Air Force AWACS plane hit geese just after takeoff a few years back. No survivors. Good men lost to friggin geese. Bird control around airports is a big deal around Anchorage.

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    I repaired a bird strike that through the skin and into the fuselage breaking a rib on the way in. The parts that were left of the bird I sent in and recieved a reply that it was a snowy owl that did the damage

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    My only experience with bird strikes is with Red tailed Hawks and Golden Eagles, I worked on windmills in California and we would often find birds that were killed or injured by the blades.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdrash View Post
    I repaired a bird strike that through the skin and into the fuselage breaking a rib on the way in. The parts that were left of the bird I sent in and recieved a reply that it was a snowy owl that did the damage
    During my second hour of flight training I was turning final at PAWS on rwy 21. I seen a snowy owl flying along the rwy and it got me nervous. For a new pilot it was taking my attention off of the more important matter at hand, flying. I kept asking my instructor about it and he only said to just fly the plane. I remember on my flare I could see that owl just in front of me just off the wing and thinking the worse. Nothing happened but it got me to thinking for sure. Them birds are big but for some reason they get bigger when your flying with them!

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    I'm trying to picture how a bird goes through the skin and into the fuselage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I'm trying to picture how a bird goes through the skin and into the fuselage.
    By making contact with it while flying.

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    Default eagle strike

    Checkout my story about hitting an eagle in a supercub. http://www.flyalaska.com/eaglestrike.html

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    I enjoyed the story. Funny how you described your provisions. Being stuck with only two cigarettes sucks!

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    Mr. Pid,
    Here is how a bird enters a cockpit. This was a turkey that got whacked on takeoff in the lower 48. I teach bird abatement down here on the peninsula so I have a bunch of similar photos, some of which are pretty gruesome.


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    I was thinking single engine and how a bird would get into a fuselage. I've seen what they do to leading edges and windscreens.

    I appreciate the abatement efforts!

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    I have had a couple of close ones, but knock on wood no hits yet. Im sure my time is coming just like most others. The eagles are the ones that scare me, always see them at eye level about 100 ft out and closing fast!

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    To be a little more exact, I would have to say it was the pilots natural reaction to pull up and away from the bird when it was seen at the last moment. When it made contact it would have just dented the skin and slipped down and away but where it hit the dent was enough that the skin sheared right next to the rib.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Here's a pretty interesting one at Elmendorf. I wasn't on this particular flight, but we've sucked them into the engines before, causing bigtime $$$ in damages. Also, last year, we had a guy overreact and drag a wintip on takeoff trying to dodge a large bird.

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    Need to rember this .... April & September/October ... Having flown out of Skyranch Palmer for 9 years, at Birchwood now these times were especially dangerous. In the valley, Palmer in particular, these areas are major flyways and your chance of hitting birds go way up. There are lots of birds and some flocks I have seen at 5,000 ft.

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    We hit birds regular enough that there was a bird strike form you filled out at ops. That was in Jets thogh and they didn't do much unless it was a big bird. Saw a DC8 eat two geese on final and it only broke a few vanes and the engine kept running.
    I hit a small fock of gulls with a C-310 on T/O , they were young one's that were still spotted and they were like camo on the rwy and I didn't see them until they lifted in front of me. A couple thru the left prop and a couple off the airframe & wings suprising there wasn't any damage. The lesson learned here was if your going to eat sea gulls the young one are soft and tender! During my bank check days my boss hit a goose W/ a Aztec and almost removed the vert. fin.
    You know the old saying, the last thing out of a birds mouth when it hits a Jet, his butt.

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    Like all of us, I've had a number of close calls with birds here and have had a couple of strikes from little birds down in the States. We usually think of birds keeping the same hours as ourselves and I learned that's not always the case. I had a disturbing experience this fall returning from a day trip of what had to have been the best day of Silver fishing of my life. My friend with me, while career Air Force, has very little small plane experience. We left the river late and hiked back to the plane arriving long about midnight. We were departing a gravel bar with fairly tall trees around. As I cleared the trees, it became obvious that this one of those "black" nights. One which just seems to suck up every trace of light. Imagine absolutely devoid of light. I climbed to 3000' and leveled off to a known point on the Big Su avoiding any topography and expecting to pick up the gloam of either ANC or the Valley. We were about 20-25 min into the flight, hard on the guages and cruising about 135 when the front of the plane felt like it had exploded. My first thought was that a cylinder had departed the engine and through the cowl. There was no vibration and a quick scan was that everything in the green. Neither one of us said anything for what seemed like a long time. My friend finally asked "What the Hell was that?" I really had no idea how to answer that. I suspected a bird but they don't fly at night & at 3,000' right? I mean, have you ever seen one? We get within a few minutes of the home strip and as we get nearer the lights, my friend begins scanning the windshield. He says there's something there so I pull up my flash light and on his side of the windhsield there is a this opaque gray and red crap all over. Yep, that confirmed it. Once in the tie downs, we climb out and survey the damage. The bird hit the plane at 20-30 degrees off the right of the nose. It did not go through the prop, there was a single point of impact about 2" above the bottom of the windshield. The spot on the windshield was at the maximum point of curvature which I'm convincied is why it didn't pass through and enter the cockpit. The only thing I could figure on the species was that there was a lot of gray down feathers in the leading edge wing root, the top of the windshield/greenhouse/fabric point and in the tail wires. The blood and guts ran up the windshield, traveled on up and the then along the length of the fuselage. It was a mess. I didn't clean it that night and one of my neighbor's called me the next day asking what happend. Based on the color of feathers, size of impact and the grease ball, my money's on a Seagull. A Goose would have come right through. I've thought about how I could have avoided it and I don't believe there's a way except not flying at night. I believe that the bird was as blind as I based on just how dark it really was. So it could be said that he had no business being there either. For him it was terminal, for me I lost a year or two off my life.
    Last edited by Blackwatch; 01-15-2012 at 09:57. Reason: spelling

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    WOW. Now that would get your attention in a hurry!

  20. #20
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    I hit something large over Ninilchik. I was on wheels (PA-11 Cub) and doing a loop when something smashed my sky-light. Whatever it was also hit the the horizontal stabilizers with a big whack.
    We had to fly back to Homer with the windows and door open at 45-50 mph. On the way back home the sheet metal fairing on the left side ripped loose along with some old plexiglass.

    Last summer a was with a heavy Iron pilot named Travis when we hit something large across the bay from Homer during a tight turn in turbulence. (on floats) It that case it hit bottom boot cowl and bent the float rudder-cable tube. It also busted loose the mounting screws around the tube flange. There was blood and parts along the bottom of the plane and on the tail flying wires. I am amazed that it did not hit the prop... Or maybe it did...

    Many will remember the AWACS plane that went down due to geese a few years back.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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