The pilot reported while en-route about 2,500′ above ground, under dark night visual meteorological conditions, multiple birds struck both wings and the cowling.
He added the Cessna 172 had a “harsh rolling tendency to the right and reduced engine power.”
He declared an emergency with air traffic control and landed without further incident at an airport in Englewood, Colorado, about three nautical miles away.
The right wing sustained substantial damage.
The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: An in-flight collision with multiple birds.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA060
This November 2016 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.