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  #1  
Old 10-14-2011, 01:35 AM
Toobuilder's Avatar
Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 4,845
Default BIRD STRIKE! I'm an ace.

I've had a few birdstrikes before, but tonight takes the cake.

Perfect evening to fly. I run over to Rosamond to get some gas for our trip to Chandler tomorrow. Upon my return to my home strip I perform the customary "low approach" to check the sock. Fairly low power, only about 165 knots - done it a million times... At the departure end, just as I start to pull for the downwind, I see the sunset blackened by a flock of birds fleeing the area. I duck just in time to save my eyes from shattered plexiglass and bird carcasses. After the "boom" I raise my head to see the large hole in the windscreen and blood and feathers all over the cockpit. As I pull into the left downwind I feel the blood running down my head... A hand swipe confirms that I'm bleeding. Logic tells me that even a small cut on the head bleeds profusely, but I still hope that I don't pass out from shock before I can get the thing on the ground. As it turns out, the approach and landing are non events and it is only when I shut the engine down in front of the hangar that the adrenaline really kicks in. In the aftermath it looks like I'm out one windscreen vs. three quail in the cockpit plus two more in the engine . I guess that makes me an ace, and very lucky to have my sight and life. Time to re-evaluate the value of the "low pass" to check the windsock. On the upside, I was looking for an excuse to do a flat wrap windscreen...

Go ahead and tell me how dumb the "low approach" is... I'm in no mood to argue.









__________________
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
RV-8 - SDS CPI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C

Last edited by Toobuilder : 10-14-2011 at 02:15 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-14-2011, 01:47 AM
ao.frog ao.frog is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Manstad, Norway
Posts: 866
Default No argueing here but...

.... CONGRATS of a job well done! You kept your calm, you never forgot to FLY THE PLANE and got safely on the ground. That's the way to do it.

Too bad about the plane ofcourse, but a windscreen is easier to replace than your life.
Very quick thinking: to duck to save your eyes!

And now you'll soon have that flat wrap windscreen too, nice bonus!

Lastly; congrats of beeing an ace too! I bet VERY few of the ace-pilots during WW II did their five kills ON ONE MISSION....
__________________
Regards Alf Olav Frog / Norway
First RV-7 completed, (bought partly finished from a US-builder) 305 hrs per July 2014, SOLD
Second -7 had first flight Feb 25th 2014. 220 hrs pr July 2019. Life is good!

Last edited by ao.frog : 10-14-2011 at 02:19 AM.
  #3  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:10 AM
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Andy Hill Andy Hill is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 978
Default

Quote:
Go ahead and tell me how dumb the "low apprach" is...
No need to, you've already told yourself

Everything is a fun / risk / cost / luck balance, and the combination of 165K and sunset seems to have tipped tipped the balance

The one lesson one might take, and borne out by military experience, is that a helmet / visor combination would have reduced the risk of inury to you to almost nil - the windscreen would take most of the energy, and helmet visor protect you from the remaining energy, and added windscreen fragments. To do it properly, you would need a clear as well as tinted visor, and always use at least the clear (those were the RAF "rules"). Whilst I now do 99% fly with a helmet, for canopy clearance I only have the dark visor fitted, so will use your experience to really try and use it when low / fast.

Out of interest, was it a standard Vans windscreen?

Andy Hill
RV-8 G-HILZ
RV8tors
  #4  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:18 AM
Toobuilder's Avatar
Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Hill View Post
Out of interest, was it a standard Vans windscreen?
It is my understanding that this is the second windscreen fitted (following an ill placed grab to get out of the cockpit). I think it's aftermarket, but I don't know the supplier.
__________________
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
______________
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
RV-8 - SDS CPI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C
  #5  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:39 AM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Huskerland, USA
Posts: 5,864
Default

Glad you are okay! A new windscreen, a couple Flintstone bandaids, a little glass cleaner, and a new pare of undies life is good!

Nothing better than a good quail dog and an over under on opening morning chasing a covey. Never thought about using the RV.

Good job flying the plane after the incident. I would guess it was a tad distracting having a hole in front of you with blood all over. Well done.
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RV-7 : In the hangar
RV-10 : In the hangar
RV-12 : Built and sold
RV-44 : 4 place helicopter on order.

Last edited by Geico266 : 10-14-2011 at 08:16 AM.
  #6  
Old 10-14-2011, 02:43 AM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
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Default Only quail?

If a quail can do that, imagine a turkey vulture, or a sea gull, or a crow!
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  #7  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:11 AM
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pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,911
Default Wow!

Michael...it's just great to see you alive!

In my ag business, bird strikes are fairly common and I always duck and flinch.

FWIW, I learned a long time ago, that when a bird is near the ground and gets startled, it'll jump up..(of course...it'd be suicide for him to dive)...happened to a friend in his -4''split the wooden prop and dented the gas tank but he managed a pattern with a shaking engine and made it.

Thanks the good Lord!
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  #8  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:20 AM
FredMagare FredMagare is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyle, TX
Posts: 569
Default

You should definitely stencil five quail on the side of you plane!
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  #9  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:21 AM
terrykohler terrykohler is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,047
Default Lucky Guy

Glad the outcome wasn't worse. Really appreciate you posting the pictures. More than mere words, these really drive home the point about adding unnecessary risk to the things we do. You might want to take this one step further, and forward both your print description and pictures to EAA and AOPA. If anyone there has an intesest in safety, they'll get printed.
Thanks again for having the courage to shine a light on yourself.
Best,
Terry CFI
RV9A N323TP
  #10  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:56 AM
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mv031161 mv031161 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Tybee Island, GA
Posts: 665
Default

Hey Pierre...do you think the 1/4 prop cone paint works on birds as advertised? I had it on my Pitts and saw a few close calls and big birds dive....I have not painted my prop cone in the Giles just yet but i have an LED wigwag landing light ON all the time when bellow 2500 agl?
Does anything works at all?
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