On November 8, 2010, at 1407 Pacific standard time (PST), Horizon Airlines flight 2306, a Bombardier DHC-8-402, N422QX, encountered a bird strike near Los Angeles, California. Horizon Air Industries, Inc., was operating the airplane as a scheduled domestic passenger flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121. The airline transport rated captain and first officer, 2 flight attendants, and 73 passengers were not injured. The flight departed Redding (RDD), California, about 1247, as a non-stop to Los Angeles (LAX), California. Visual meteorological (VMC) conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

The captain reported while on the approach for landing at LAX they encountered a bird strike to the leading edge of the right wing. The flight crew reported they never saw the bird before it hit the airplane. A review of the airplane flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) established the bird strike occurred 18 nautical miles north of LAX at an altitude of 7,500 feet mean sea level (msl), and the airspeed was 234 knots.

The crew declared an emergency and made an uneventful landing, and taxied to the passenger terminal where the passengers were deplaned.

An examination of the damage revealed a 12-inch-diameter hole in the leading edge of the right wing centered between the right engine nacelle and the right wing tip. The damage area was covered in blood and what appeared to be bird remains.

Samples of the remains were recovered and sent to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Feather Identification Laboratory. They performed DNA analysis, microscopic examination, and whole feather comparisons with museum study skins on the recovered residue and feathers. The analysis identified the residue and feathers as the remains of a Common Loon (Gavia immer). The average weight for the species is about 4,980 grams or 10.9 pounds.

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