Subject: Bird Strikes
From: email@example.com(Erik Shilling)
Date: Jun 27 1996
I've had two bird strikes. One during WW II while flying a C-
46 in the upper Assam valley of northwest India. The other doing
an airshow here in California, flying an Stolp Acroduster I with a
260 hp Lycoming engine.
The first occurred on a flight from Calcutta to Dinjan in
upper Assam valley. I had departed Calcutta on my way to Dinjan
and was down low flying along the Bamapurta river. It was a
beautiful day and like many time before, I'd fly down low looking
for wild animals such as Elephant herds etc.
I was about 100 miles west of my destination at about 100 feet
when I saw a buzzard at my same altitude. India was full of them.
The bird went through the prop, and into the right engine. It
bashed the cowling in, tore off one Cuffs from a four bladed
electric prop, and guts were all over the front of the engine.
I had to feather the engine due to the unbalanced prop.
Fortunately I had a light load and was able to climb up to a
comfortable altitude and continue on to my destination. The damage
was so great, that if the bird had hit the windshield it would have
* * *
The second bird strike happened here in California. I was
doing an airshow at Flabob airfield, and had taken off to start my
routine. I took off and made a left hand turn, circling the field
to gain altitude. Then when parallel to the runway I dove to red
line speed to open my show with four vertical rolls, then as many
torques rolls I could get.
I had pulled vertical and at two hundred feet, started my
roll, when I saw a bunch of small birds in my path directly above.
All I could do was stop the roll, but was unable to take evasive
action. Also the birds were so small I didn't think there would be
much damage even if I hit one. Besides being vertical and barely
200 feet, there wasn't much I could do in the way of an evasive
maneuvering, besides there were too many. As I went through the
flock my engine quit as though I had pull the mixture into idle
cutoff. What a hell of a position to be in, vertical WITH no
engine. Fortunately I had gone to red line speed of 220 mph in the
dive, so I was able to push over and make a quick 360 landing dead
When I got on the ground a number of us were inspecting the
airplane for damage, and found that the guts of one of the birds
had gone into one of the impact tubes on the airbody of the fuel
air regulator. With no more impact pressure fuel was cut-off.
Erik Shilling Author; Destiny: A Flying Tiger's
Flight Leader Rendezvous With Fate.
3rd Squadron AVG