CHI95LA016
CHI95LA016

On October 18, 1994, about 1616 eastern standard time, a Beech 58 airplane, N83KK, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a flock of geese and a building during takeoff from runway 23 at Smith Field Airport, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The business flight was being operated on an IFR flight plan with visual meteorological conditions prevailing at the time of the accident. The commercial pilot reported no injury; the sole passenger aboard was seriously injured.

The pilot reported to the NTSB that as the airplane reached rotation speed, he noticed a flock of geese rising from a grassy field adjacent to runway 23. Shortly after liftoff, the geese flew across the airplane's flight path from the pilot's right. Several geese struck and broke the front windshield, with at least one bird striking the pilot's head. The pilot said his visibility was limited due to blood from the geese and the wind coming through the broken windshield. He said that he reduced the engines to idle power, and pulled the fuel mixtures to off. He applied right rudder to miss a house and trees located off the departure end of the runway. He said the main landing gear collapsed from the resulting side loads, the airplane began sliding, and then struck trees and a commercial retail building.

The pilot wrote in his report to the NTSB, under the Safety Recommendation section (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented): "Air Cannons at airports where birds are commonly sited would help, also the restriction of buildings in and around runways... ."

The closest house along an extended centerline of the runway is approximately 950 feet off the departure end of runway 23 according to an Airport Layout Diagram. Houses are located approximately 600 feet directly south of the departure end of the runway. The Sam's Club building which was contacted if approximately 25 degrees to the right of the departure end of the runway and approximately 700 feet from the runway.

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