During the takeoff roll, a hawk struck the Bellanca’s windscreen and then struck the vertical stabilizer and rudder. The plane veered to the right, exited the runway in Delavan, Wis., and nosed over.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer and rudder, while the pilot sustained minor injuries.
A post-accident examination revealed that the hawk had lodged between the vertical stabilizer and rudder, which interfered with the flight controls and deflected the rudder to the right.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the collision with a hawk during the takeoff roll, which resulted in a loss of directional control, runway excursion, and subsequent noseover.
NTSB Identification: CEN13CA528
This August 2013 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.