26 September 2006

TINS Tuesday

(Ed: This week's offering comes from Grampaw Pettibone, of whom your humble scribe has been a fan for lo these many years. This article was first printed in Naval Aviation News in the 15 April 1943 issue)

Duck Soup

While simulating a strafing attack at a speed of approximately 250 knots, the pilot of an F4F-4 reported that he flew through a flock of ducks, several o which struck his airplane. This resulted in sever vibration and some difficulty in aileron control, necessitating an immediate forced landing. The airplane sank; the pilot only received mild shock and salt water immersion.

It’s my opinion this pilot got off mighty lucky. It used to be fun to chase ducks and occasionally “bag” a pelican, but that was back in the days when you had to have an extra fast plane to catch a pelican. With modern, high speed aircraft, striking even a small bird may cause loss of control and result in a serious crash.

I’m not accusing this pilot of deliberately running into this flock of ducks. I’m merely warning all and sundry to stay well clear of such things if possible. My dad once told me of seeing a straw driven through a five-inch oak tree during a tornado.