Rob Weber was out for a flight in his 1986 Piper Saratoga, heading back in to the airport, when out of nowhere a bird came crashing through the windshield of his plane, shattering it and sending glass flying everywhere. It just so happens that he had a camera recording every second of the horrifying experience.
He was on his way back to Page Field in Fort Meyers, Florida this past Saturday when the incident occurred. He said the aircraft was traveling at around 170MPH when the bird struck, which he said shocked him with surprise.
“It was a total shock,” the president of Garden Street Iron & Metal in Fort Myers said. “I have a had a lot of close-call bird strikes, but this was the first hit.”
“I didn’t even see the bird coming,” he said. “He managed to miss the prop and ended up with me inside the plane. And then he was out.”
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He said that although the plane went a little haywire from his initial surprise he was able to quickly get it under control. “Everything went cattywampus. At first, it kinda knocked it out of me, startled me,” he told the newspaper. “The wind got my eyes real bad, and I tried to cup the mic so the controller could hear me.”
Once he landed and was safe, he joked about the incident with a slight laugh. His humor was revealed when he donned an “Angry Birds” tshirt for the interview that followed.
“I fully expected to find the rest of the bird when I landed,” he said. “All I found were my glasses.” The only part recovered was the bird’s leg and some feathers, which will be used to identify what type of bird hit the plane,” he said.
Weber escaped with only a couple of cuts from the glass but his biggest concern was that he was flying alone.
“That’s the part that scared me the most,” he said, “That I was by myself, who was going to land the plane if I couldn’t?”
He said he’ll have the plane repaired and he’s planning to fly to Tallahassee for the state legislative session, an event he attends annually.
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