Bird Strike
 
 

by Eddie Moody

It was a long-ez O-235-L2c. I was flying at 9500 with the autopilot (trioavionics) turned on. I was talking to center for flight-following and life was good. I looked down to change the radio from 113.2 (abq) to 110.6 (SAF). I heard something and I felt as if I was in a paint mixer. Then the vibration stopped. I looked to the R and saw that the Right winglet about 5" above the wing was missing! I was freaking out! The RPM gauge maxed at 3000 rpm. I do not know what the real rpm was. The airplane started lisping to the L. It took full right aileron to keep straight. I now realized that I was losing about 500 feet per minute, I was 20.6 NM on the
242 or 252 degree radial of SAF. I tried talking to center but my comm antenna is in the R winglet. Therefore, no center. I tried 121.5 - nothing. I tried SAF tower - nothing. I squawked 7200 ( I thought that was the emergency code - I was wrong). With full R aileron I was able to keep directional stability above about 110 knots indicated @ 9500 ft msl. I finally contacted SAF tower about 1 mile off the end of RWY 2 and was able to declare the emergency since I did not have a comm antenna. The landing was only ok. I did not stretch the glide, but I landed with 10' of the end of the runway. The slower I went the more I would turn to the L. I will
post pictures tonight or tomorrow of the damage. What I found after landing was just a few inches of prop but it was symmetric and the R winglet is gone but also their was a lot of damage to the R aileron. It looks like the R aileron will have to be rebuilt also. Burt designed a great airplane. But the real reason I think I made it back to the runway was it just wasn't my time to die.

 

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images/rudder.jpg images/winglet2.jpg images/winglet3.jpg images/winglet4.jpg
images/winglet5.jpg images/winglet6.jpg images/winglet7.jpg images/winglet8.jpg
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