NTSB Identification: DEN01LA073.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, March 20, 2001 in Alamosa, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 340, registration: N9940F
Injuries: 6 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he had just passed over the airport at 9500 feet mean sea level and entered the downwind leg for the approach to runway 20. At that moment he encountered a flock of large birds that flew up from below. One bird struck the leading edge of the right wing at approximately 3 feet inboard of the tip tank. The pilot declared an emergency and landed without further incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing's leading edge, skin, wing spar and auxiliary fuel cells. At the time of the accident, winds were light and variable at 3 knots. The bird was identified as an adult sand hill crane.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The in-flight collision with a large bird during downwind approach for landing.

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