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  #1  
Old 02-11-2019, 01:40 PM
lucaperazzolli's Avatar
lucaperazzolli lucaperazzolli is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Trento, northern Italy
Posts: 574
Default another bird strike, already solved.

I had to wait some months to write this story due to some ‘insurance misunderstanding’.

It was a relaxed and calm sunny day last year on May 25. I liked to give, to our local kindly “tower girl operator” what we call the RV Grin. So at 3 pm local time we were in the air.

After a 30 minutes flight I was descending over the home field 3000 Ft. at 190 Kts and without seeing nothing I only heard a GREAT 'bang', really loud (something like shooting with a S&W 686 a .357 Magnum bullet w/o ears protection).

The condition of the windshield immediately gave me the idea of what happened. Fly the airplane, stay calm, reduce speed and power, deep breath was my automatic routine.

Fortunately the poor bird didn't enter into the cockpit. I preferred to declare a Mayday because I was worried about the structural effect of my broken plexy and concerned about my passenger; by the way she reacted in a really professional mode and this helped me a lot.

I was over the airport so it was not difficult to land safely despite a bloody windshield and poor visibility.

The propeller blade cut the bird into two pieces (you can clearly see that in the photos : the bird is in two parts and there are two impact spots on the windshield); this reduced the force so I saved my face. In my air-show routines I always wear my Gentex helmet but probably it's better having always it on.

Please let me to give tons of ‘THANK YOU’ to all the staff at Van’s in particular to Anne, Daryl, Gus and Rian; Jeff and Becky from Airplastic and Nicole from Catto Propellers. I really tested their patience and I had an incredible warm and positive feedback that gave me the energy to change the windshield very quickly (I have ‘The Pond’ factor) and to save the airshows season. On June, 23 I was ready to rejoin in flight with John Koehler and his RV-9; he was doing his Around The World adventure and stopped in my hangar for the oil change.

The windshield change process were standard, not so funny but doable (hey, we’re builders); maybe I’ll make a story with some photos.

Elena, the tower operator, had her RV Grin (before the bird strike) and she’s waiting another flight with a more peaceful landing.

The poor bird was an adult Common Buzzard (a couple were based in our airport area) only one remained for about one month, then it was lost to sight. Despite all it had more right than me to be in the air…. Making a research it could have a mass of about 3 lbs., this gives a Kinetic Energy of 4700 Joule (the energy of a 12 gauge shotgun).

Remember the hull insurance ? The german based agency denied me the damages of the broken windshield…..I tried everything believe me; now all my RV friends have another insurance company, me too.

Fly safe !











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Trento, northern Italy
RV-8 QuickBuild, Catto 3 blade Prop, YO-360-A1A. Status : I-LUKE is Flying - 350 h. and counting
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Last edited by lucaperazzolli : 02-12-2019 at 09:48 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:15 PM
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGG
Posts: 2,429
Default Amazing!

Wow Luke, really amazing story - and I think that this is the first time anyone has seen pictures of the bird leaving the aircraft after being sliced in two! I'm glad it turned out ok in the end.
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2019, 02:43 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,504
Default

Quite amazing. Of course, the odds favor the prop missing the bird. Might have been worse. Did you try the ‘prop strike’ angle with your insurance company? For that matter, was there any prop damage? Any concern about the crankshaft?
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2019, 03:09 PM
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DeeCee 57 DeeCee 57 is offline
 
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Location: Zürich W, Switzerland, Europe, Earth, Milky Way, known Universe...
Posts: 46
Default

hey Luca, you told us that story last week when we visited, but now those pictures underline the severity of the encounter...

Happy you guys did good
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:24 PM
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erich weaver erich weaver is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa barbara, CA
Posts: 1,588
Default

Glad that it mostly worked out in your favor. What was the insurance company's reason for denying your claim? I would like to hear what comment the rep for my insurance company (Gallagher) has to say about that.

regards,

Erich
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:40 PM
jdmunzell jdmunzell is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Hamilton, VA
Posts: 416
Default Gallagher Insurance...??

Congrats on a successful conclusion to this event!! Always, always,...ALWAYS!! ... fly the airplane first!! You do that and you're most likely to survive any kind of startling situation like that!

That said, I would like to ask you about Gallagher.. I have them for my builder's policy. I am curious as to why they denied the claim. I noticed what looks like a crack in the windshield up high centered near the roll bar.

Why did they deny the claim??
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:51 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
been here awhile
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 3,860
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdmunzell View Post
Congrats on a successful conclusion to this event!! Always, always,...ALWAYS!! ... fly the airplane first!! You do that and you're most likely to survive any kind of startling situation like that!

That said, I would like to ask you about Gallagher.. I have them for my builder's policy. I am curious as to why they denied the claim. I noticed what looks like a crack in the windshield up high centered near the roll bar.

Why did they deny the claim??
Before this gets all balled up......per his first very informative post in this thread Luke used a German insurance agency.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 02-11-2019 at 06:59 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:53 PM
SkierinGA SkierinGA is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 13
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
Before this gets all balled up......per his first very informative post in this thread Luke used a German insurance agency.
I had a birdstrike in my RV-8.. Gallagher was very supportive and took care of everything!
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:41 PM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 358
Default

Glad you and your passenger are fine. SOOO glad your canopy didn't break. Untold possibilities there and none are nice to think of.

I've had many many close calls with birds but fortunately no hits yet. Most interestingly and not surprising almost all were less that 500 feet or so when taking off and landing. There are many trees around my home field so this doesn't help. Of course my speeds are slower in these phases of flight but I still worry about a square on hit. Like if a bird is diving to avoid me and slams the canopy.... the slope of the canopy would be pretty much canceled out and the force of a strike would then represent a more direct 90 degree type of impact.
Even at pattern speeds a dead on hit on the wings would probably do a good deal of damage.

Anyway so thankful you and your friend are OK!!!
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2019, 05:58 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Location: SC
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Default

Luca,

Amazing story!

Good to read of the positive outcome for all except the bird.
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