ATL06CA043
ATL06CA043

On February 1, 2006, at 2045 central standard time, a Cessna 172P, N902NS, registered to and operated by Northern States Aviation, Inc., as a 14 CFR Part 91 repositioning flight, collided with a deer while attempting to land at the Bessemer Airport, Bessemer, Alabama. The pilot diverted to Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama, and made a forced landing. The airplane received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The commercial pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from Drake Field, Fayetteville, Arkansas, on February 1, 2006, at 1745.

The pilot stated he entered the traffic pattern for runway 5 at Bessemer Airport, Bessemer, Alabama. "About 10 feet above the ground two deer came into the landing light from the left. I proceeded to go-around. As I started to pull up and climb, the left main gear contacted one of the deer. I continued the climb to a safe altitude and cleaned up the aircraft. I looked outside to inspect the left main gear to find it severely damaged." The pilot made the decision to divert to Birmingham International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The pilot was vectored for a visual approach to runway 36. The airplane was landed on the right main landing gear, and the pilot held the airplane off the ground as long as possible. The left wing and stabilizer contacted the runway, and the airplane went off the left side of the runway coming to a complete stop.

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