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  #1  
Old 11-24-2012, 08:33 AM
Bastien's Avatar
Bastien Bastien is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Vannes, FRANCE
Posts: 149
Default Formation take-off bird strike

Since I completed my RV8, I am doing more and more formation flying. Maybe a third of my RV8 time is formation flying.
As a low time pilot, I am going step by step with a retired air force pilot owner of an RV4.
After a ground briefing, we started up for a formation flight and I am planned to do my first "formation" take-off.
Lined up, cleared to take off. The leader applied power and with the bigger engine of the 8, I did not have problem to keep my place during the take off roll.
At half the take off speed,I noticed a group of birds sitting on the runway axis. With the planes getting closer they started to take off but they wanted to vacate the runway sideway and chose the side where I was. The leader lifted off and I lifted off a second after. I cross the birds and found it was very close to a bird strike. We did all the exercises we planned and landed 20 minutes after take off. Back at the hangar, I did a visual inspection of the plane and looked at the video to find if I hit something.. Here is what I found :

From the Gopro HD Hero 2 :







On the right cowl inlet



I found some blood on the tail but no impact on the leading edge.

I pulled the cowl and plenum off and cleaned the rear baffles.

The runway I use to take off is often a meeting place for bird and I should have took it into consideration before taking off. In my mind I thought the birds would have vacated the runway as fast as they do when a single plane is taking off but the two plane were taking almost the whole runway width and bird have been trapped. This might have increased the bird strike probability.

A day after I went to an other airfield and in short final, I had a small bird who passed through the prop disk but I did not hit him.

As others on the forum, I am more and more thinking of protecting myself with a helmet.
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Van's RV-8 3040 F-PVRB
Aerosport IO-375 turning WW200RV
Dual Dynon SV1000
SJ Wheel pants/plenum/cowl
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Last edited by Bastien : 11-24-2012 at 10:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:06 PM
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RV10inOz RV10inOz is offline
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brisbane Qld. Aust.
Posts: 2,308
Default

Lucky escape!

I fly from a field where there are literally hundreds, approaching a thousand at a time, IBIS.Look these up, they are not your average sparrow. They are a seriously big chook.

One word of advice from an old timer was this. Birds have no ability to out climb, their only defence is to dive. At takeoff, do not fly at best angle ever or even best rate if you don't have to. With birds crossing your path, never descend, as they will too. Fly at them, accelerating (extra energy for you) and then pull up.

So far in 9 years at this field....I have not hit one in thousands of take offs.

What you do when birds descend from above......try to miss as best you can.

Be careful!
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2012, 06:21 PM
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NickAir NickAir is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: McMinnville, Oregon: HOME of the SPRUCE GOOSE
Posts: 540
Default Bird Strike

Quote:
Originally Posted by RV10inOz View Post
Lucky escape!

I fly from a field where there are literally hundreds, approaching a thousand at a time, IBIS.Look these up, they are not your average sparrow. They are a seriously big chook.

One word of advice from an old timer was this. Birds have no ability to out climb, their only defence is to dive. At takeoff, do not fly at best angle ever or even best rate if you don't have to. With birds crossing your path, never descend, as they will too. Fly at them, accelerating (extra energy for you) and then pull up.

So far in 9 years at this field....I have not hit one in thousands of take offs.

What you do when birds descend from above......try to miss as best you can.

Be careful!
I live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, (bird migration route.) Thousands of birds. I totally agree with David (Oz) above, always pull up when approaching a bird/flock conflict, unless the flock is above you. This has worked for me more times than I can count. Only one bird strike which I never saw until it was too late, small bird, small dent in leading edge. Other pilots report similar. Geese is the real danger here. They fly at night and at all altitudes including reports of over 10K.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:12 AM
riobison riobison is offline
 
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Location: Oliver BC & Red Deer Alberta Canada
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I have read that Geese migrating have been spotted around 30,000 feet, ducks in the mid teens and Swans as high as the Geese.
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2012, 07:13 AM
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RV10inOz RV10inOz is offline
 
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And hate those silly French light twins.......

Apparently the glide well, just ask Jeff and Sully
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 AM
g zero g zero is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: palm coast fl.
Posts: 997
Default Formation take off

I hit a pelican last year with my Biplane , big dent ! We fly formation and now that I am a little "Bird Shy " the bird thing is a concern . Birds are somewhat predicable if you see them , hard to do following lead .
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2012, 12:47 PM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
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Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
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Oddly enough, the only bird strike I've had was when a flock of seagulls *climbed* through my flight path as I approached an airport for landing. I was about 600' AGL and crossing a seashore at the time (in a Cessna 150) and the birds came up from the passenger side of the plane, they were completely invisible until I went through the flock. Small dent on right wing, but it made one **** of a bang when it hit.
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2012, 02:33 PM
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bastien, curious if you would do anything different now after this experience?
same situation.
the bird seems far right to have made it to the cowl inlet.

florida bird dodger.
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2012, 01:37 AM
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Bastien Bastien is offline
 
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Location: Vannes, FRANCE
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There is a ot of things to do to avoid this but next time I will be doing a formation take off, I will ask the ATC if there are any birds on the runway. From our place we can't see them but the ATC can.
On the next formation take off I will not be at this position. I get PMs telling that the aircraft should almost be side by side on the take off roll and not on a 45? line as I was. I didn't though that if the left tire of the lead blew out, I would have been in an uncomfortable situation.

The bird you can see on the 3 photos captured from the rear RV8 seat is not the same as the one I found on the cowl. I had a "near bird strike" and a bird strike on this take off roll.
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Van's RV-8 3040 F-PVRB
Aerosport IO-375 turning WW200RV
Dual Dynon SV1000
SJ Wheel pants/plenum/cowl
Flying since 07/27/12

Van's RV-8 2513 F-PTGV
Lycoming IO-360 B1B
Purchased as a project--Finishing kit
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