Christen Eagle hits deer

Aircraft: Christen Eagle II. Injuries: None. Location: Eureka, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As the pilot was attempting to land at the rural airport, a herd of deer wandered onto the runway. He added power and attempted to avoid the herd, but was unsuccessful. The airplane hit one of the animals.

The pilot was able to land safely. The FAA Airport Facilities Directory for the airport contained a note stating that there are deer occasionally on the runway.

Probable cause: A collision with a deer while landing.

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA073

This January 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.



  1. Sarah A says

    Airports have always been popular hang outs for animals like deer, lots of open land with a fence to keep preditors away. For similier reasons they are popular with various species of large birds such a sea gulls and and geese. Animal collisions have always been an issue and always will be so it is best to be on your guard, espically at night when deer tend to feed. Of course as is in this case a tail dragger is not going to provide much visibility of what is ahead once the landing flare is entered so the risk goes up.

  2. DAVE WEBER says

    as a note.
    once the pilot of these really “nose high” tail wheelers starts his flare
    He is not able to see the runway. the entire landing from flare to stoppage is in the blind.. these aircraft have very limited forward sight available..
    put your two hands up in front of your face so you have thumbs our and all 8 fingers
    visible , then move in to about 5-6″ from your nose and do this about 100 mph
    if you ever see the centerline , really bad things have already started happening,,,,, time to go arround happened a couple of seconds ago

    i would always appreciate radio calls if something is changing on the runway from other aircraft

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