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Bird strikes


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Guest Machtuk

Thought I'd start a thread re bird strikes, don't see any currently running?

With the high amount of LSA these days mixing it with our fathered friends that are much faster than the old 'Drifter' days wondering what sort of damage birds might do to composite airframes?

I've whacked many birds over many years, light GA to heavy metal, I feel bad when I do, after all we don't belong up there they do ?

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It makes you look when an eagle soars right past you at 5500 feet. I’ve had a couple close and you start scanning for their mate when they do pass you.

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Guest Machtuk

Better not to think about it and avoid areas that have high risk. I doubt the planes would cope very well with a collision with a bird of much size. Nev

Avoiding areas of high bird activity really isn't possible as most of our airports are close to coastal regions where the food chain is alive! Even further inland wide open plains still attract bird activities, fact of life we share the skies with our feathered friends?

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For those who can choose what material to make their windscreen from:

Perspex/acrylic resists scratches much better and lasts much longer, but Lexan/polycarbonate can cope with pretty much anything hitting it. Just don't get fuel on it.

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I have this minor item to offer:

Several weeks ago, I was on roundout when a magpie passed right in front of me. If the engine had been on anything but idle, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have made it.

As it happened, the landing proceeded just fine. But in the moment, my eyes followed the bird, and I thought afterwards how that took my attention, for a moment, off the landing.

 

I don't know if it's possible to ignore the bird, but another time, I would try.

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"Perspex/acrylic resists scratches much better and lasts much longer, but Lexan/polycarbonate can cope with pretty much anything hitting it. Just don't get fuel on it."

How about the two of them, sort of loose laminated, fuel resistant outside and Lexan/polycarbonate strength inside, shouldn't be too heavy,

spacesailor

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"Perspex/acrylic resists scratches much better and lasts much longer, but Lexan/polycarbonate can cope with pretty much anything hitting it. Just don't get fuel on it."

How about the two of them, sort of loose laminated, fuel resistant outside and Lexan/polycarbonate strength inside, shouldn't be too heavy,

spacesailor

I like the idea- pretty much the same sort of thinking that went into Japanese swords, which had a hard core that could hold a sharp edge with more flexible steel laminated each side.

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Even certified aircrafts windscreens often don't handle birdstrikes very well. Jets reduce speed when likely to encounter them. I've seen Eagles embed back to the spar in Cessna hiwing. Most ultralights would lose the wing in the same circumstances. That's why I suggest they be avoided and keep above them if possible. Garbage tips near airports bring seagulls and watch out for Pelicans if flying over a river on approach . I've encountered Wedgetails at 9,000 feet where they just circle half asleep. Powerful Owls are possible at low level at night. Nev

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Even certified aircrafts windscreens often don't handle birdstrikes very well. Jets reduce speed when likely to encounter them. I've seen Eagles embed back to the spar in Cessna hiwing. Most ultralights would lose the wing in the same circumstances. That's why I suggest they be avoided and keep above them if possible. Garbage tips near airports bring seagulls and watch out for Pelicans if flying over a river on approach . I've encountered Wedgetails at 9,000 feet where they just circle half asleep. Powerful Owls are possible at low level at night. Nev

I’ve also seen the leading edge flattened back to the spar on a Tomahawk and a Warrior flying night circuits and hit flying foxes!

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My thinking was soley for, pilot safety.

Perhaps just a panel inside the screen just so that bird does,nt hit the face.

The sight of a birds head stabbed into a face sends shivers down my back.

spacesailor

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I have to put up with the pesky buggers every time I go up! Either on take off, or on landing. My home AD has a massive grass strip and the magpies and galahs hang out on them all day. MOST of the time they get out of the way, but I have had quite a number of close calls. One last week went UNDER the wing!! Scary at times, and there is zero I can do about it. :(

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I can recall a bloke piloting a twin Cessna between the mainland of W.A. and Koolan Island, many years ago (must have been the '80's), hitting a sea eagle at height, well offshore.

The sea eagle smashed through the windscreen, knocked the two front teeth out of the pilot, and rendered him temporarily unconscious from the impact.

He came to shortly after, and recovered control of the aircraft, and then returned to the mainland and carried out a successful landing.

I think the worst part would be the blood and guts and feathers everywhere, that would make operating controls more difficult, having to clear a lot of it, and also having it still blowing around everywhere.

I can't find the incident report, it may be buried in the BASI archives.

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That sort of thing was/is relatively common. Most GA type windscreens won't stop the birds. Cruising at above say 150knots on the clock will provide plenty of energy to do the damage. I've only hit seagulls but been closely "investigated" by others when I've been in things like drifters where they fly faster than you do. Nev

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There was an article where many (unpressurised) windscreens were subject to testing back some time ago. I'd be surprised if there wasn't still a record of it. Nev

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The airstrip on West Island on the Cocos Keeling Islands is interesting. The islands are full of feral bantam chickens, because the Malays love them, and they provided a good food source in past decades, when food supplies were a little more insecure.

These chickens are quite good fliers, if only low level fliers, because no-one ever gets to catch them, to trim their wings.

The airstrip is located central to the island, and has a narrow patch of native vegetation on each side. The bantam chickens graze the ground each side of the runway, and also hide in this vegetation.

Just prior to any takeoff by an aircraft, they drive the airport runway ute up and down the runway, and along each cleared section adjoining the runway, to chase the chickens off these areas, and back into the native vegetation!

Talk about 3rd world operations! But the bantams seem to be wise up to the aircraft operation, and flutter off into the vegetation, and only return quite a while after the aircraft has left .

I do't recall any aircraft crashing at Cocos due to bird ingestion, but I believe there were a couple of military aircraft crashes there during WW2, when the airstrip was upgraded and sealed and heavily used.

 

The other interesting part of the airstrip is that the local golf course extends across it, and golfers have to cross the runway to follow their balls! No ASIC cards needed here! LOL

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-23/cocos-islands-golf-course-on-international-runway/11222500

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It's an isolated place only about 15feet above Sea Level and if you miss it there's not many places close by to go to. Used to operate to there in DC-4's in the 60's and it was a miracle we didn't lose any aircraft as the things to navigate by were minimal and so was the fuel and engines unreliable. Later operated there via Christmas Island and fuel margins were still minimal in B 727's due restrictive landing weights. More interesting than milk runs though. Nev

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Ploughing, scarifing and other farming operations that are in progress are a major magnet for lots of bird life and it was due to that, that i had my close encounter while decending to join and looking to check the windsock. I got a good very quick view of an eagles undercarrige as he went over me.

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I came close to a Wedgie a few months ago. I was not high, about 2000 feet & saw this black spot out of the corner of my eye. In an instant I was right upon him & he did the courteous thing & went into a wingover and dive out of the way. I don't know who was the most surprised. At the aerodrome we have a variety of feathered friends. There are plenty of Magpies especially when mowing the grass runways when the bugs get disturbed, flocks of Ibis, Correllas, Ducks, Wedgetail eagles, Galahs, Pigeons, the odd Osprey etc. Mostly they keep of of the way when they hear the aircraft engine.

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