On November 4, 2009, about 0750 mountain standard time (MST), a Beech C-99, N330AV, encountered a bird strike while on approach to Show Low Regional Airport (SOW), Show Low, Arizona. Ameriflight, LLC, was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 cargo flight. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries, and the airplane sustained minor damage to the left front pilot windshield. The cross-country cargo flight departed Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Phoenix, Arizona, about 0715. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

The operator reported that shortly after the pilot began the descent into SOW, about 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl), a bird struck the upper portion of the left pilot’s side windshield. The bird made an approximate 11-inch by 8-inch hole, sending bird and glass fragments into the cockpit area. The glass remaining in the windshield was shattered and contained an almost opaque appearance. The pilot continued the descent and landed the airplane uneventfully.

Remains from the bird were recovered from the airplane and sent to the Smithsonian Institute for identification. According to the test results, the remains were identified as Western Grebe. The average weight of this species is 3.3 pounds.

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