This May 2008 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.
Aircraft: RV-7A. Injuries: Minor. Location: Hollister, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot told investigators that during the initial climb after takeoff a large bird hit the leading edge of the left wing slightly outboard of the fuel tank. The airplane immediately yawed and banked to left. The pilot attempted to straighten the airplane and land. However, despite his control inputs, the airplane continued to roll to the left. Subsequently, the left wing hit the ground and the plane cartwheeled. No mechanical anomalies were reported with the engine or airframe. A large dead goose was found in the debris field following the accident.
Probable cause: The in-flight collision with a bird.
For more information: NTSB.gov