Bird Strike on Takeoff?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by SkyChaser, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2020
    Messages:
    366
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SkyChaser
    I woke up in a cold sweat this morning from dreaming I'd taken off, run into a flock of birds about 200' agl, and lost all control surfaces at once. That was one terrifying ride. Airplanes don't follow the rules of physics in dreams. I woke up just before impact, and it felt like my heart was going at about 1000 beats per minutes.

    What actually happens when you hit birds on takeoff? I am pretty sure you don't lose all control surfaces or end up in an inverted spin...
     
  2. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    3,003
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    midwestpa24
    A lot of variables, size and quantity of birds, where they hit the aircraft, etc. Bird strikes are honestly more common than most realize, and 95% cause little to no effect on flight.
     
    SkyChaser likes this.
  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    7,501
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    Here’s a video of the bird strike I had last summer in a 162, probably one of the flimsiest planes out there.

     
    Radar Contact and SkyChaser like this.
  4. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    25,837
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    They go whump. Chances of them hitting a control surface is small since control surfaces (except stabilators) are on the back side of the wing/elevator/vertical stab. Take off speed in a training plane even if they hit the windscreen, probably just scare ya a bit.
     
    Radar Contact and SkyChaser like this.
  5. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2014
    Messages:
    2,915
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Stingray Don
    I’ve had two bird strikes. One was on takeoff. I just made a lap around the pattern and back to the ramp to inspect. No damage other than some blood. Continued with the flight.

    Second bird strike, I have no idea when it happened. I went to attach the tow bar after the flight and found a bloody mess all over the front of the plane and a few feathers in the air intake.
     
  6. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Messages:
    2,031
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Heywood Jablowme
    You land in the Hudson, duh
     
  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    high desert NM
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    One trip. Gallup to Window Rock and return. Total flight time one way, 6 minutes in a C-414.

    On the takeoff roll from Gallup I hit a prairie dog with the nose gear. Landing at Window Rock I hit a jack rabbit with the left main.

    On departure from Window Rock I hit a flock of chi chi birds. Probably sparrows. Landing back at Gallup I hit a raven on short final. It got in the prop and the prop flung a large portion of the raven against the side of the plane.

    All inside of the plane survived.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  8. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    371
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geosync
    Variable. For work I've had a tiny bird go through a windshield on a helo and slam into a passengers face, sending her to the hospital(she was fine). I had jet engine basically explode from what was probably an eagle or vulture. We took it to the repair facility and engineers descended from their lofty heights on the second floor to view the carnage. Had a bird impact right on a pressure bulkhead seam on the nose, costing several hundred thousand to fix. But most just case dents on the leading edge of the wings. You'll be fine....unless a large one comes though the windshield and hits you in the face. Won't blow sunshine up your skirt, that would suck.
     
  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,910
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    Had a fairly large fruit bat hit right square in the copilot's windscreen on a UH-1N I was crew chief on. This happened in the Philippines back in 1985. It was total chaos for a few seconds, till will were able to determine that the copilot was in fact really ok underneath all the blood and gore.

    After the excitement and subsequent landing, we determined we had one copilot with a black eye and a shattered helmet visor, covered in gore, a bloody hole slightly smaller than a baseball in the windscreen, and the head and entrails of one fruit bat had passed through the windscreen, bounced off the copilot and up into and through a lightening hole in the structure above the copilot, just aft of the "greenhouse" window.

    We retired to the club for the evening and came back to the flight line around 9am to find a hot, stinking mess of an aircraft. That bat had a full tummy when he hit us. We hired a young filipino gentleman to carefully remove the headliner and clean all the bat off it and the inside of the aircraft. It still makes me a little queasy just thinking about it.
     
  10. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,576
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    Those damn bird unions! I wish they’d settle their differences with management rather than striking as often as they do!
     
    AKBill likes this.
  11. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    3,989
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    I ran into a good sized flock of starling whilst landing at a remote airport to get our airplane painted. Probably made contact with a dozen or more. Other than some minor gore spots, no big deal, though amazingly loud (but then, the first time I heard hard rain on the windshield I was quite surprised.)
     
  12. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,050
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    Meh, just a Tuesday round here (that's ol "Kidd" talking to the media again, flown with the dude many o times. :D).


    And some more fun at the home drone


    I've had compressor stalls as a result of bird ingestion. Fun times. Truth be told, props are the go-to for birds. I took a bird in the T-6 through the prop arc. Nothing. That thing was a food processor. I've had more headaches with birds in the Talon than the Tex2. 15 years of mil flying, had half a dozen strikes? It's not uncommon, though thankfully these examples of large damage or hull loses are much less common *knocks on wood*

    More to your question, this is more likely what can happen in our flimsy spam can windscreens if it's not your day.

    That can be a bad day, because at a certain bird weight and speed it can knock you out. Single pilot you're toast. We've lost folks in the -38 during the thin windshield days to that (thankfully we have the thick guard now, mostly as a result of that fatality) and it's our number 1 paranoia in the low-level environment (well, that and age of the fleet but I'll digress on that for OPSEC reasons).
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    Radar Contact likes this.
  13. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Messages:
    6,042
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    asicer
    BTW, birds usually dive to get out of your way. If you feel the need to maneuver to get out of its way, you probably shouldn't also dive too.
     
  14. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,224
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    56A52D4E-B218-4698-B7CE-1454EDF7B79F.png Then there is this fellow:
    - taking off KCDK runway 05 (2355 ft) In a Cirrus when Hurricane Alberto was running up through the Gulf with winds howling out of the South. When questioned by the FAA inspector he reported running into a flock of small birds. Hmmmm.
    I’m astounded both he and his girlfriend waded away safely.
    http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2018/05/cirrus-sr22-n269dw-accident-occurred.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  15. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2019
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MrAnderson
    Depends on the bird you hit. For example if you hit a sky hawk you will probably lose some if not all controls but if you hit a regular hawk it wouldn’t be as bad.
     
    Groundpounder and wrbix like this.
  16. farmrjohn

    farmrjohn Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    170
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    farmrjohn
    And you don't want to hit a bird while it's in its nest.
     
    Huckster79, Jim K and MrAnderson like this.
  17. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,928
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kevin
    Here’s my recorded version. Just need to watch the first 10 seconds. This is the 3rd bird I’ve hit in 20 years (that I recall). The scariest was at night at 8000ft over Virginia in a 401 20 years ago. Nothing like a loud thump to wake you up in cruise. :)

     
  18. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,609
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kritchlow
    Nice video... I truly don’t know about 91 flying, but we must report all bird strikes in the 121 world.
     
  19. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    12,782
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    I had a bird strike during takeoff a few years ago in a 152. Was a couple hundred feet upwind and it comes down out of nowhere. Made a thud in the windscreen and left some blood but that was about it (luckily).
     
  20. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    CMI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
    I was about 10 hours into my primary training when we got a small bird with the prop, right after rotation. All I saw was a speck in the corner of my eye followed by a poof. We mentioned it to the tower so the fire department could check the runway for any leftovers, but I think it mostly disintegrated. There was a speck of blood on the cowl when we got back, but that was the only evidence.

    Our Archer also has a small dent on the leading edge that I presume was caused by a bird, but no one remembers, and I haven't gone through the logbook to look for an entry. I might do that when I retrieve it for my instrument ride.
    Supposedly this plane also had an off-airport landing, about a mile short of the RW in a harvested field (forgot to switch fuel tanks). I've seen newspaper photos of an archer being towed on the highway back to the airport, but can't see if it's the same tailnumber. Want to look for an inspection for that incident, too.
     
  21. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,137
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    So a stall led to the crash on takeoff.

    I suppose that means that when hitting a flock of birds at 90’ AGL on takeoff, the necessary pilot response should be immediately pitching down. I would probably fail to do that, being just stunned by the bird strike.
     
  22. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2015
    Messages:
    626
    Location:
    Central Maine
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron
    Took out a BIG-ASS hawk with the Mooney at 1000 AGL.
     

    Attached Files:

  23. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    8,576
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    When approaching a stall at 90’ AGL on takeoff, for whatever reason, the necessary pilot response should be immediately pitching down.

    Stall prevention/recovery needs to be an automatic response so that it happens whether you’re stunned or not.
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    CMI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
    Wow...Bet that got your heart rate up

    I got within a few feet of one in the Dakota this spring....happens fast.
     
  25. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    1,908
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Larry in TN
    It's unlikely that a bird strike would affect your flight controls. The more likely threats are to the engine (jets), the prop, or the windshield. Big dents in the leading edges shouldn't be a major threat to making a safe landing but they might be an expensive repair.
     
  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    25,837
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Not in a Dakota it doesn't! :D
     
  27. Jim K

    Jim K Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2019
    Messages:
    1,075
    Location:
    CMI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
    Lol.... 140 feels fast when you're used to 110!
     
  28. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2020
    Messages:
    366
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SkyChaser
    Thanks, guys! The pictures and videos were nice. :) It is weird to think you can hit something in the air and have it pretty much be a non-issue.
     
  29. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    25,837
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Wait for the surprise you are in for when you fly into a cloud!
     
  30. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2020
    Messages:
    366
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SkyChaser
    Ha! Those aren't exactly solid! :)
     
  31. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    25,837
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Aren't they? :D
     
    SkyChaser likes this.
  32. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,134
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    I hit some sort of hawk or large owl while doing night currency in a twin comanche. I saw the blur go under the nose, the aforementioned 'whump', and while my hand was pre-positioned to raise the gear, I hesitated and decided to return to base gear down. My MEI concurred.

    good thing too, as I discovered a fairly good sized drumstick with claw lodged in the nosegear mechanism. My mechanic was NOT pleased when I called him over to 'inspect and de-leg the PA30'. Being the boss, I went home for the evening. :D

    Pretty much a nonevent. I think often about what taking a bird in the prop arc would be like, though. It gives me chills to think that 'bird sushi' is the BEST possible outcome there.
     
  33. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,224
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    Although I did not witness the event, I would question the substantial downwind takeoff on a short runway contribution to the bad result.
     
  34. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,461
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Helos we hit them a lot. Just the nature of flying at low altitudes. Never hit one in an airplane yet (knock on wood). Hit maybe a dozen in helos. Most have no damage. Took one to the nose in a 60 that dented the fiberglass avionics door. Took another to the windscreen in Iraq that cracked the glass then the guts coated our IR jammer and failed it. Took another to the right pitot once in flight school and it stuck to the tube until landing. Hit several on the blades. It’s a loud pop but the essentially get annihilated. Actually hit one at work about a month ago at night around 2,000 AGL. No damage other than paperwork.

    Fortunately nothing ever this bad.:(



    3054AC64-9479-43CA-AC08-3D23C25047E6.jpeg
     
  35. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2016
    Messages:
    429
    Location:
    KADS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Plano Pilot
    I got one years ago in a C310 at 7,500 coming back from Austin to Dallas around 11pm. It hit just above the windshield, woke up the passengers and no one slept the rest of the trip. No damage to the C310. A few years later I hit one on the same leg around the same time in a KA200. That one caved in the leading edge of the right wing but we did not know we hit anything until after landing. I have hit several others over the years and taken 3 into jet engines, separate times, without damage.

    Yes they normally dive, turn away and climb.
     
  36. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,137
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    I don't know much about rotorcraft. I think that for an airplane, any prop strike that results in a loss of RPM should result in an engine teardown.

    Is it the same threshold for a rotor, a loss of RPM?
     
  37. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,461
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    No inspection that I know of but all my blade strikes were military. I’m pretty sure they didn’t do any sudden stoppage inspection. A 225 lb blade traveling at over 400 kts isn’t going to slow up if it strikes a bird. If there is a change in rpm, it’s not noticeable in the cockpit. Taken a couple of kites to the blades also and even one that stuck and it had no effect on rpm either.

    Biggest threat to helos isn’t blade damage but the windscreen. They’re usually quite large and in the case of your small helos (Part 27), they’re not required to meet any bird strike resistance criteria. Some aircraft are being modded with new bird proof windscreens though. Some (us) are using anti bird pulse lights as well. Seems to work.
     
  38. EightSierraVictor81

    EightSierraVictor81 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    EightSierraVictor81
    all depends. We have pretty large birds up to sometimes 4-5,000ft over the Everglades. Try to get above them as they will tug in a wing and drop like a cannonball if scared.
    This tactic didn't work out that well for me the other in the traffic pattern and I ended up below the bird. I didn't see the strike, but heard it. Landed, checked, and saw a piece of feather in the seam between fuel tank and top skin of the wing. Had it double checked by an A&P and was cleared to fly.
     
  39. dennisc172

    dennisc172 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2018
    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Amsterdam, NL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dennis
    I had a birdhit during landing once, the bird hit the tip. No damage, bird was dead.

    Last month had a almost birdhit above the city... caught on the Gopro camera, check the shadow...
     

    Attached Files:

    • bird.jpg
      bird.jpg
      File size:
      166.7 KB
      Views:
      16
    Jim K likes this.
  40. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,608
    Location:
    Rockwood Storage Facility
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mantis Toboggan, MD
    I've posted here before about my turkey strike while driving. Raw turkey and glass mixed with my own blood tastes terrible.

    Nauga,
    merge-plot on the highway