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Venetian Stealth Birds (Video) and what would you do after a bird strike

Unless I was absolutely sure I could stop (say a 2000m runway) I would get airborne regardless, even with a broken window, and then land if I felt like it. Going off the far end of the runway is a really really bad idea and is usually fatal, with everybody going up in a ball of smoke.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I was lined up ready for take-off once at San Sebastian and the tower asked me to wait due to birds. He sent the bird scaring van along, which makes loud screeching noises. I was impressed and didn’t see any when I finally took off.
This Australian pilot hit a wedge tailed eagle, called weggies in Australia as they are quite common. His dog was OK

Unless I was absolutely sure I could stop (say a 2000m runway) I would get airborne regardless, even with a broken window, and then land if I felt like it

I have a totally different opinion. A typical SEP needs about 350-400 metres to get to rotation speed. About the same to stop again. Hence, an 800 metre runway is safe for an abort, even right at rotation speed. I guess 99% of your takeoffs are on runways 800 metres or longer. For me, it’s more like 80%, so that makes it a little more complicated.

Problems are best sorted out on the ground, not in the air.

But to each his own. In fact, I believe that in case of a big loud bang or a big rattle starting at, say, 40 knots, even you would always instinctively stop, despite what you write here from the armchair. So why “brief” one thing, and then do something else?

Would you also continue the takeoff if you noticed, passing about 40 knots, that you have no airspeed indication? In IMC?

Last Edited by boscomantico at 06 Aug 15:27
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

I’ve done a lot of 500/600m runways, definitely more than 1%, which makes this more critical. It is mostly the bigger ones which make it into my trip writeups so everybody thinks that is all I do

It does depend on what it is. If the engine goes bang then you have to try to stop no matter what… I did abort a takeoff when the fuel totaliser fuel flow was reading zero. It could have been a huge fuel leak.

However the context here is a bird strike.

Also obviously if you get a 10kg bird through your window at 70kt you will not be in a position to fly the plane…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

except where the runway is short and accelerate stop distance is greater than TORA available.

Are these figures available for SEPs? As there is no V1? I heard some bush flying rule of thumb about 50% of the runway…

EASA CB IR instruction

Regarding braking on grass: I had another ILAFTT lesson a short while ago on a (thankfully) long grass runway in a Piper 28. It just felt like the brakes where disconnected because there was no deceleration…since then my belief in braking action on grass runways is shattered (too many variables, grass types, low, high, freshly cut, damp, wet etc…).

EASA CB IR instruction

I fly a lot at airfields and low level VFR where birds are common. Mostly small ones, just like the ones on the movie. I say to myself and my students to never do any corrections or avoidance maneuvers due to birds. They will more or less always be faster than you and move out of your way. I see it as a far greater risk to reduce power(and then continue the takeoff run) or to do some other maneuver if you encounter them on your final approach.

If you reduce power, you should probably abort and make a new takeoff to be certain. I am not questioning your judgement and I am sure that you were comfortable with the long runway but that is what I would say to my students.


Thanks for the input.

EASA CB IR instruction

I had this startle effect several times during basic PPL training. My then homebase of EDWF lies right inside a rest area for migratory birds along the river Ems (marked with green lines on the German VFR charts) and often the birds (mostly wild geese) would land right on the airfield in the grass next to the (hard) runway. Sometimes literally thousands of them. Aircraft movement didn’t even always scare them away, though a helicopter reliably did.

My instructor didn’t brief for a bird strike specifically, though we didn’t perform any take off when the helicopter landing had just scared thousands of birds into the air but waited until they settled again (often a bit further north of the rwy). Taking off in the 26 direction would also have one potentially end up in the river Ems if suffering an engine failure shortly after take off.

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim

Reminds me of the old story when a French manufacturer of “bird proof” windscreens geared up for the big test, which their British counterparts had passed with flying colours (feathers?) It was about trains but never mind that for now.

So they got some chicken from Carrefour and loaded them in that ole chicken gun used for these tests. Bang it went.

Well, the test turned out not so good. The chicken smashed through the windscreen, through the dummy in the drives seat and ended up in the engine compartment.

The shocked testers bit their pride and sent the pictures of the aftermath to their British counterparts. The latter took out their slide rules and started calculating back and forth… In the end they sent a one line telegram back to France:

“Next time, thaw the chicken!”

LSZH, Switzerland
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