The pilot was flying over a bayou canal near Paradis, La., when a large bird hit the leading edge of the Cessna 182’s right wing.
He immediately felt a vibration in the control yoke, and had to apply left aileron and left rudder to keep the plane from rolling to the right.
He assessed the aircraft’s control capability and decided to return to his departure airport.
As he approached the airport, he extended 10° of flaps and slowed the airspeed to 120 mph, still applying left aileron and rudder.
While on final approach, as the airspeed reached 90 to 100 mph, the right wing dropped and the airplane rolled between 45° and 90° to the right. He added full power, retracted the flaps, and applied full left aileron and left rudder.
The airplane descended to an altitude of 100 feet before he was able to level the wings and begin a climb.
He decided to land at the larger nearby airport so that he would have a longer runway and could land at a higher than normal airspeed.
A post-accident examination revealed the airplane sustained substantial damage to the leading edge of the right wing.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a collision with a bird, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane.
NTSB Identification: CEN14CA095
This December 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.