A pilot in Florida got quite the shock Saturday afternoon when he collided with a bird at 170 mph. In raw video from the cockpit, the bird crashes through the windshield of the small plane and hits pilot Robert Weber in the head.
The fowl was gone as quickly as it burst through the window, leaving Weber to try and see through heavy gusts of winds in order to land the plane outside Fort Myers.
“Everything went cattywampus. At first, it kinda knocked it out of me, startled me. The wind got my eyes real bad, and I tried to cup the mic so the controller could hear me,” Weber told The News-Press.
Fortunately, other pilots heard Weber’s calls for an emergency landing, and a tower control worker at Page Field airport, where Weber was heading, helped guide him in safely. He walked away from the accident with a minor cut on his forehead.
The veteran aviator, who has flown for 11 years, has had some close calls with feathered flyers before, but he has never had a bird shatter a window.
“All of the sudden the window just explodes. I don’t know if he was diving or what happened when I got him,” Weber said, according to Florida’s NBC2 News.
In a similar incident earlier this year, a cockpit camera captured the moment a goose crashed through the windshield of a small plane in Illinois.
Sharing airspace with birds has become a growing issue for civil aircraft pilots. The number of bird-plane collisions has steadily increased in the past few years with10,726 wildlife strikes reported to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2012.