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Bat Strike!

Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:17 am

Me, my instructor and one of my good friends had decided to go for a joy ride in a C-172 skyhawk to try out my friends new headset (Sennheiser HMEC 400, Nice headset, but not as nice as my Bose  Laugh out loud). We flew from Oxford Airport (OXC) up to Bradley International (BDL) for a touch and go. We were flying back home after a sweet landing when all of a sudden our pleasant conversation went silent with very loud thud against the left side of the aircraft. We did a quick check of the engine instruments and than made sure the wings and landing gear were still connected to the airplane. After deciding that they were we headed back to Oxford (About 20 miles away.)

After a successful and uneventful landing we got out and found that the inner 10% of the left wing was covered in blood and that some nasty pieces of meat were sticking out of the wing/fuselage connection, between the plastic and metal.

So being interested we decided to pull the chucks out to see if we could indent the object we struck. After the first chucks we found the evidence needed to identify the animal. We pulled a rather large bat head out of the plane, the head was compacted by the impact, but still it was recognizable as a bat head.

We were at about 2500ft, (1800ft AGL) when this happened at about 8:30pm and to the North East of OXC
Has anyone else every hit a bat?, Is this a common occurrence?
I know birds are reasonably common, but a freaking Bat!
For those not familiar with these airports, Both are in Connecticut, USA

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RE: Bat Strike!

Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:09 am

no, but i hit a coyote while taxiing. blood splattered everywhere and the prop needed to be replaced.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: Bat Strike!

Sat Aug 30, 2003 1:29 pm

That reminds me of this joke:

These two bats were out flying around looking for food, they went everywhere, but coldnt find anything, so they decided to go home. Late at night one of the bats decided he was too hungry to not eat, so he went out. When he was coming back home, the other bat was awake. He asked the one just flying in "Your face is covered in blood! Where did you find it!" "Come with me and I'll show you" said the other bat. "You see that tree over there?" "Yes" "Well I didn't!"
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RE: Bat Strike!

Sat Aug 30, 2003 2:40 pm

That isn't that weird.

You expect to find bats in the air.

Alaska Airlines a number of years back had a 737 mid-air with a Sockeye Salmon at Juneau.

Now a 16 pound salmon is not something you expect to hit on climb out.

Just to prove that I am not lying.


[Edited 2003-08-30 07:54:32]
barney captain
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RE: Bat Strike!

Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:04 am

Bat strike? Musta been teamsters.  SmileYuk Yuk Yuk

Actually yes, on approach in to San Antonio. Found his little bat-cape wing wrapped around the #1 intake cowl. Even wrote it up that way "Bat strike on #1 engine".
Southeast Of Disorder
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RE: Bat Strike!

Sun Aug 31, 2003 6:06 am

I once hit a bat with my Ford Ranger pickup truck. It smashed flat against the front Grille with it's wings spread out like a little bat-man bat signal.
Quite funny to see, actually.

RE: Bat Strike!

Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:14 am

About four years ago I was departing Meacham Field in Fort Worth, Texas. It was an evening departure and we were deadheading to Houston to pick up some passengers. Just prior to V1 something darted out in front of us and we hit it. We aborted the takeoff and taxied back to the ramp. The tower controller had someone take a truck out on the runway to see if they could find out what we had struck. They found a 200+ pound ferral pig lying dead right on the runway center line! We were extremely lucky, an animal that size, If we had hit it dead on, would have easily taken out our nose or main gear. As it was, he was hit by our nosewheel chine and we suffered no other damage. I spoke with the tower controller and he mentioned that he had to fill out a special form for the FAA. He asked me to wait while he looked for it, but he couldn't find one so he simply took a "Bird Strike Report" and crossed out the word "Bird" and wrote "Pig". I guess that I'm the only person to have ever filed an FAA Pig Strike Report. The linemen at the airport later said that the BBQ was pretty good!

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RE: Bat Strike!

Mon Sep 01, 2003 4:02 am

Just this month, a Skyway B-1900D (N79SK) hit one of 2 deer on the runway in Muskegon, MI during landing rollout. http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20030826X01404&key=1
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon

Back in 2000, a SF-340 (N404XJ) hit some as well in Hancock. http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001212X20788&key=1
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark Abbott

See note on photo above, and be careful flying around Michigan. Driving along I-69 last night we saw at least 14 along a 50 mile route, they are out in force.

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RE: Bat Strike!

Mon Sep 01, 2003 12:00 pm

Training in Australia I nearly hit a pelican in my single engine bug smasher. It wouldn't have done my plane much good hitting something as big as that!!
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RE: Bat Strike!

Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:49 am

Firstly a Ref: to aforementioned vehicular deer strikes in Michigan (and I think I might have posted this in another thread); there are approx 60,000 (that is, thousand) deer/vehicle crashes reported per year in the state of Michigan.

Back to bats; my close friend (who is a practicing veternarian) estimates that he impacted about ten to twenty bats in his AT6B some years ago (in the same occurrence). Rare, but not undocumented. Wasn't it a bunch of bats that flew into the Empire State Building years ago (just before or after the B25 flew into it?).

We sucked up a small corn snake that nobody noticed whilst running up an engine last year. Not an often occurrence, but, like I say, not undocumented...Jack
all best; jack
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RE: Bat Strike!

Wed Sep 03, 2003 3:52 am

I hit a large grasshopper at 13500; can I join the club, too?
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RE: Bat Strike!

Wed Sep 03, 2003 4:35 am

I saw a US Navy F14 in the pattern at NAS Cubi Point take a fruit bat down the right engine. It was migration season and the sky had actually darkened because there were so many of the large fruit bats. Those things are big. Looking at the engine after the airplane landed, could see that the bat had impacted the engine just to the left of center on the bullet shearing that off that also broke off the N1 tach generator spur gear. The spur gear end did extensive damage through the fan and low pressure compressor. We were able to identify that it was a fruit bat that went through the engine from the bat's foot that we found up in the variable ramps.

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RE: Bat Strike!

Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:28 pm

I was in the cockpit of a DC-8 freighter when we hit a dragonfly at FL350 over the Rockies! Scared the crap out of the F/O!  Big thumbs up

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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