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  #1  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:37 PM
boomer's Avatar
boomer boomer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Ladonia,Tx
Posts: 153
Default Bird Strike -- Almost

Here is a video of a landing close call I had this week in my RV-8.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxEu7...r#action=share


In retrospect, a couple of things come to mind:

1. After exiting the runway and advising the airfield folks about the situation, I wondered if my pre-landing scan of the runway had been at fault. After viewing the video, I was impressed with how hard it was to see the big birds on the ground. No problem seeing them when they flew!

2. Many years ago we deployed a squadron of F-4's to Ramstein Air Base in Germany for a month. At the safety briefing, we were told that it was not uncommon to have deer on the runway. If this happened, the best advice from experience was to not try and avoid them. Just keep on taking off or landing. I found this advice to be useful in the buzzard situation just viewed. Going around would have put me right into the birds. Turning during landing could have easily put me off the runway.

P.S. I didn't see any deer at Ramstein, but I did have a flock of starlings fly in front of me on takeoff at about 140 kts. I hit at least four (none in the engine, fortunately). No damage. The Phantom was a strong bird.

John
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2013, 01:59 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
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What was dead along the edge of the runway? Something had to attract those buzzards. I was waiting to hear what I probably would have said when they took off and you just missed them, but you did a good job! Are you still counting your lucky stars.

Thanks for posting the video. Great reminder to expect the unexpected.

Good advice reminding us to not try to avoid them. They will be trying to get out of your way and if they don't, you need to be full attention to landing or taking off.
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Last edited by rv6rick : 12-18-2013 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Removed expletive
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2013, 02:52 PM
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Jamie Aust Jamie Aust is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Brisbane Australia
Posts: 568
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Thanks for posting the video.
At my local field YCAB, we have to dodge birds and Kangaroos, as we have a rubbish dump and bush land around the field.
The kangaroos have been at the field for years, and now are used to aircraft and the noise they make, so they often will just not move.
Birds usually move when you get close to them, I had a bird strike on my first flight ( hit the gear leg ) I checked flying controls ok and continued the circuit and checked it all out when I landed.
I find , unless you have some altitude under you, its best just to keep going straight if that is possible rather than try to maneuver out of their way.
YMMV
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:09 AM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 718
Default White Pelicans

I've been impressed by the large flocks of white pelicans that migrate down the Mississippi through Louisiana in November. They're huge birds (bigger than buzzards) and sometimes just circle in very large flocks (100's) at pretty high altitudes. I've seen them flocking like this near KBTR. They rest at University and City Park Lakes near LSU, clean out all the shad and move on south from here. Hate to think what would happen if an airliner encountered them. Wouldn't want to strike one in the RV either.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2013, 11:20 AM
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DougJ DougJ is offline
 
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Location: Prather, CA
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OK, so I just about ducked behind my keyboard during that video. I've had my fair share of bird strikes, oddly I'd say the majority were at night, with one while IMC. Never saw those ones coming...

Tough to see even large birds like that on the ground at the runway edge unless you're really looking for them, and those ones didn't come up until you were very close. Holding your course at that point looks to have been a wise choice!
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2013, 05:45 PM
JSOliveira JSOliveira is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Port Townsend, Washington
Posts: 77
Default Seagull Strike

When I had about 10 hours on my 9a, I had a seagull strike on takeoff.

I was just about to lift off when a seagull flew across the runway, turned in front of me, and tried to outrun me. I hit it when about 3 feet off the ground. Went through the prop. There were wing parts and blood and guts all over the right LG fairings, wheel pant, lower cowl, wing leading edge and horizontal stabilizer.

Best decision I made was to keep going. Watched temps, and oil temp. No problems. Took a while to clean up, but I was very lucky. My wife insisted on making this decal for the side of the aircraft.

Around here you have to watch for eagles, we have a pair who like to soar in thermals over the field. I have seen them bathing in a puddle between the runway and taxi way.

http://s232.photobucket.com/user/jso...tml?sort=3&o=0

http://s232.photobucket.com/user/jso...tml?sort=3&o=1
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2013, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwoodrv9 View Post
What was dead along the edge of the runway?
Never did find out. I called the airfield guys as I left the airport, but the guy who went out hadn't returned. My guess is that it was something small, such as an armadillo, as I couldn't see a carcass. We seem to have an over abundance of vultures in N.E. Tx this year, and they flock on the smallest carcasses. Hungry, I guess.

The interesting thing was that the buzzards weren't there when I took off about 80 minutes earlier. They have some internal "rule of thumb" about how long a carcass needs to "cure" before they descent on it.

-John
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2013, 07:17 PM
springer springer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: AZ/MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boomer View Post
The Phantom was a strong bird.John
Hard to hurt a J-79. One of the best engines made.
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2013, 08:58 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Very interesting video thanks for sharing. I was called a bird magnet before. Now I regularly practice a bird avoidance exercise. This past year I was touched only once by a little birdie it left couple feathers and some **** under oil door camloc. The year before I caught a bigger one and a bat. And a year prior to that right after Phase One I run over a giant goose it completely ruined a main wheel fairing.

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  #10  
Old 12-21-2013, 09:42 AM
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boomer boomer is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
Very interesting video thanks for sharing. I was called a bird magnet before. Now I regularly practice a bird avoidance exercise.
Before building my RV, most of my close calls with big birds was at significantly higher airspeeds where there is little time to react and not much ability to turn anyway. I followed two rules of thumb:

1. If the bird was level, climb. Big birds really have little energy to climb when they are soaring and will usually fold their wings and dive. They can do little else.

2. If the bird is above (but not too far above) roll and pull.

That said, I believe I have seen more vultures, geese, etc. the past year in my part of northeast Texas than in any year previous, and they seem to be at higher altitudes. Not uncommon to see them at 2000', where previously most stayed between 500-1000'.

I maneuver to avoid many more birds than aircraft.

-John
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