The pilot reported that, about two miles from his destination, he made a left turn to enter the downwind leg for landing at an airport in San Diego when a bird came “out of the sun.”
He made a hard right turn to avoid the bird and prevent it from coming through the windscreen. The bird subsequently collided with the leading edge of the Cessna 172’s left wing.
The pilot continued to his intended destination without further incident.
Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the left wing.
Probable cause: An in-flight collision with a bird.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA063
This November 2017 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.