Bird crashes through windshield during IFR approach

Bird crashes through windshield during IFR approach

Feb 14, 2023 News by Gary Searing

While flying the full published RNAV approach to ZZZ, after being cleared for the approach, completing the procedure turn and established inbound at 2,200 feet in approach configuration (110 kts 50% flap, autopilot) a bird (eagle?) struck the windshield high on the pilot side.

Pilot was wearing foggles for the approach while the co-pilot/safety pilot was monitoring the UNICOM and pattern traffic.

No birds had been observed in the vicinity until the strike.

The impact created a large hole in the windshield sending plexiglass, bird feathers, blood, and gore into the face and torso of the pilot, as well as throughout the cabin.

There was considerable wind noise making radio/intercom communication difficult.

Bird was lodged head down at the windshield/fuselage roof intersection and had penetrated several inches into the composite roof structure. Bird was removed from that location by pilot to regain visibility.

Co-pilot radioed ATC/Unicom (there were two other aircraft in the pattern) to report the strike while pilot flew plane and landed safely.

Injuries were minor cuts and bruises to the pilot.

IFR plan was closed on the ground.

Only one hit was heard/felt and the engine continued to run normally, so not sure if the bird struck the prop before hitting the windshield or if the bird struck from above without striking the prop.

Given the angles involved it was not possible to see and avoid.

Staff at ZZZ advised that this was the second bird strike in the vicinity of the airport in the last week.

By General Aviation News Staff

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