EAA Ultralight Chapter 75

North Central Wisconsin Lite Flyers

Pheasant Strike
published 2009 April

It was all normal...a flight from Pierre, South Dakota to Watertown, South Dakota. A very short flight.
A little background information, South Dakota has a TON of migratory waterfowl flying through the state each year around this time. Minneapolis center even gave us a pilot report that a pilot sighted "thousands of snow geese flying through the area".
I was the pilot flying and believe me both me and the captain were on our toes watching all the birds around us. Once we got on final for runway 12, over a lake, and down to about 500ft, I made a smooth landing, and we rolled down the runway - relaxing a bit that we didn't hit any birds in the air. At about 60-70 knots on the rollout, we saw a pair of Pheasants that decided to go for a Saturday morning stroll across the runway. With no room to swerve and literally no time to break, the next thing we saw was feathers flying everywhere.
The rest is history....6 inches of our prop missing and dead pheasant. The propeller has a nickel leading edge to protect the carbon fiber prop, which got sheered off by a pheasant. 
Amazing what only a small bird can do....and we thought we were safe after missing the ones in the air!
I'm just amazed that a pheasant did this. Not many pieces left of the bird. 
Brian Krueger

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