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Old 05-07-2019, 07:50 PM
Jaudette's Avatar
Jaudette Jaudette is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 11
Default Bird Strike and a Carbon Prop...

Finally figured out my old login for the site. Nice to be able to post again. For those of you wondering how well an RV does when hit by birds... The answer is: Very well. I was doing a test flight after I re-sealed my canopy and flew through a flock of blackbirds. Damage was not bad.

I was most impressed by the prop. I have a Sensinich Carbon prop and, although covered in goo, didn't have a scratch. I had a few chips of paint on a wingtip, one of my wheel pants and lower part of the cowl; but other than that, nothing to complain about!

Here is a video of the birdstrike. Kinda boring but here it is:

Here is a video of the damage:

When I hit the birds the airplane buffeted and I had my hand on the aileron trim. I inadvertently cranked it and it took me a while to realize what I had done. Flew low by the tower because I had convinced myself that there was damage to a fairing or something. Alls well that ends well.
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:36 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,220

Just don't do that with canada geese!
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet"
Hobbs 600
also LS-6-15/18 sailplane
VAF donation Jan 2019
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:27 AM
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Jaudette Jaudette is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 11

Right! My hangar neighbor hit one and faired ok!
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:06 AM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is online now
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,253

carbon props are more resistant to damage from a large bird strike than metal blades but they need a good metal leading edge in order to resist the hydraulic pressure that results from the impact.
Steve Melton
Cincinnati, OH
RV-9A, Tip-up, Superior O-320, roller lifters, 160HP, WW 200RV, dual impulse slick mags, oil pressure = 65 psi, EGT = 1300F, flight hours = 700+ for all

Simplicity is the art in design.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:18 PM
F1R F1R is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: ____
Posts: 780
Default Not flying in Canada

Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
Just don't do that with canada geese!
I would be more concerned with Colorado Geese if I was flying around Denver.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:06 PM
Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 439

Had a bird strike in pilot training outside of Lubbock Texas in the 70’s. I was flying back to Reese AFB as number two of a two ship. Lead called out “birds” and pulled up left and I pulled up right. Bang, bang! Two Sandhills cranes hit the belly of my T-37. Very noticeable but the old tweety bird was a stout airplane and only damage was a couple of dents on the bottom of the T-37. Darn lucky lead saw them before we flew through them otherwise the impact would have probably been the canopy and those birds were big enough to go through it and due some personal damage.

My other bird strike was on takeoff on #2 engine and the windscreen out of McConnell AFB in the KC-135R in the early 80s. That resulted in a high speed abort with hot brakes. Needless to say, my opinion of birds is: “they should never be allowed to fly!” Keep you eyes open!!!
Jim Harris, RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM
IO-360, Hartzel CS prop, Older Aerotronics built panel Dual GRT Horizon WS, GRT EIS, Garmin 340, 335, Dual 430s, TruTrak 385 A/P with auto level, FlightBox hard wired to WS, Dynon D10A with internal battery (backup EFIS), 406 MHz ELT.
Retired - Living the dream - And going broke!
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:15 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,389

I hit a small bird, about the size of finch a number of years ago. It went through the prop and hit the left tank, just below the crest of the airfoil.

It took some paint off but no other damage than that.

I saw it go through the prop disk and hit the tank but it happened so fast, there was no avoiding it!

Two years ago, while doing my BFR, the instructor yelled birds as I was heads down in the cockpit. I caught something out of the corner of my eyes and slammed the stick forward, launching everything in the cockpit. I swore I was going to hit them with the top of the VS. Pure luck that we missed those buzzards! That would have been bad, very bad!
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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