September 9, 2012, Washington, Penn., Piper PA-31-325 Navajo C/R


The airplane was substantially damaged at about 0707 Eastern time during an abnormal contact with the runway after takeoff. The airline transport pilot, co-pilot and two passengers were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed for the Part 135 on-demand aeromedical flight.

Shortly after lifting off the runway, a flock of geese approached from the right side of the airplane. The pilot pushed the yoke forward to avoid a collision. The landing gear contacted the runway “very hard” and the airplane bounced back into the air. The pilot continued the takeoff, remained in the traffic pattern and landed the airplane without further incident. Examination confirmed substantial damage to the airframe and bird remains were found on the fuselage.


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