Today, a Spanish bird had an aircraft strike. The poor thing must not be so well – I found sprayed blood under the wing leading edge after landing. Not much I can do about that – but the question remains how to evaluate the damage to the wing. There is a dent that I would consider considerable, yet not unflyable. What do others think? I need to figure out if I should get this fixed during the trip (with all the hassle that includes) or leave it until I return the airplane to the club in about 10 days (15-20 hours to go).
It’s just one man’s opinion but I don’t like the look of that.
For a smaller dent there are things that can be done in an ‘emergency’ situation like wrapping a piece of thin sheet aluminum over the leading edge and taping all four edges down to re-establish the wing section. I don’t think you could do that so effectively here as the damaged profile is outside of the original section. I’d also be concerned about structural issues.
How did it fly?
My A&P/IA says an inspection is required before further flight.
It looks bad, especially as the damage is at a rib position which complicates it both legally and in terms of the repair procedure.
Where in Spain are you? If anywhere near Malaga, I’d send you to LEAX to have it looked at by these guys.
Castellon LECN today. Next planned stop is actually Malaga, though landing at Granada planned because of customs for Marrocco, later on. But LEAX would be an option – still a 2 hour flight away, though.
How did it fly?
I didn’t feel anything unusual. In fact, I didn’t think there was any damage until after landing. I saw the bird in the last moment and felt a very subtle buffet upon impact.
Sorry for you but I somehow fear your trip to Africa is scrapped, for one reason or the other. Even if you are happy with it, it could be the aeroclub insisting on an inspection/repair, or the the chosen repairshop denying their OK without major work / repair.
Very sorry to hear that Patrick, especially after your bad luck with the weather in LFMK.
I can only say that if I were you, I would have it inspected ASAP.
I have flown an aircraft with much less damage than that, and also the damage was between the ribs. An engineer had inspected it and said it was OK to fly.
Whilst the handling appeared unaffected in normal flight, the behaviour at the stall was somewhat unusual to say the least. Violent wing drop.
I’d be getting that looked at ASAP.
As a chartered civil engineer, I see no reason not to enjoy the rest of your trip and fly it until the skin starts to develop a visible crack. The factor of safety of that wing is AT LEAST 1.5 at MTOW and max “g”. Stay away from both, and the actual FoS for your load condition should be in excess of 3.
Anyone who tells you otherwise is either indulging in innumerate backside-covering or, if they are really frightened of an FoS of 3, they should avoid any built environment.
I flew with a 94 year old the other day. I don’t think that generation of pilots was much concerned by the odd shell hole in a wing…
Very sorry to learn about your bad luck, Patrick. However good thing is, that you and your passengers walked away without a scratch. We know, that birdstrikes can result worse!