Birdstrikes can occur in virtually any stage of the flight. The most common times are
during takeoffs, landings, approaches, and low-levels. When birds hear the high pitch sounds
of approaching jet engines, they instinctively tuck their wings and dive. The "birdstrike
zone," where birds pose the most danger, is the area between 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock, from
slightly above the horizon to 30º above the horizon. If a bird is seen in this zone, call it
immediately followed by position using clock code (e.g., "Bird, 1 o'clock!"). The pilot will
then initiate action to avoid the bird. Clock codes are essential so the pilot will be able to
immediately acquire the bird visually. If you see a bird not in the birdstrike zone, don't say
If a birdstrike does occur, it usually will not cause any major problems. In the event a
bird is ingested into one of the engines, noises from the engine or a visual check may indicate
the need to shut down the engine. If the radome is struck, it could shatter requiring a reduced
airspeed. The windshield though, is the primary danger area.
If the windshield does break, the cockpit will become extremely noisy from windblast
making cockpit communication difficult, and there is the possibility the pilot or PNF/CP will be
incapacitated. If this should occur, the remaining crewmember must positively direct the aircraft
away from the ground. Select MRT and climb away from the ground using no greater than 30º
nose-up attitude to avoid stalling the A/C. Monitor altitude and airspeed continuously. Climb to
at least 5000 feet AGL and assess the situation. Consider engaging the auto-pilot once leveled
off to minimize task saturation of the crew. The mission will terminate and the flight will
immediately return to base when a birdstrike of any kind occurs.
b. Lost Aircraft
The standard for maintaining course on a low-level is + 2 nm. If the aircraft becomes
lost, follow these procedures:
Climb to an appropriate VFR altitude.
Fix the position of the aircraft either visually or with a NAVAID fix.
(3) Expect to reenter the route at an alternate entry point (fuel permitting) or
If aircraft position cannot be determined, execute lost plane procedures.
c. Lost Plane Procedures