Deer attempts Jet-i-cide

phr8dawg

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We were past VR at a short strip last week when a deer became visible for just a second and then passed under the nose. Had we been on the runway for just 500 more feet, we would have hit it square on. There was no chance to evade, abort, or climb. I thought about it quite a lot and the following options came to mind: If we hit it square at 140kt, it would have shattered the radome and likely torn off the nosegear door, possibly disabling the nosegear. Nose-high would have shorn off our belly antennas and fragged the main doors and flaps. If it jumped, we would have possibly lost a windshield or FOD-damaged one or both motors. We would have been climbing into IMC on one motor with questionable gear and flaps. Has anybody ever struck an animal this large on takeoff?

It seems to me the best option is to raise the nose a bit and then do a hard abort. Thoughts?
 

westwind driver

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&#8730
We were past VR at a short strip last week when a deer became visible for just a second and then passed under the nose. Had we been on the runway for just 500 more feet, we would have hit it square on. There was no chance to evade, abort, or climb. I thought about it quite a lot and the following options came to mind: If we hit it square at 140kt, it would have shattered the radome and likely torn off the nosegear door, possibly disabling the nosegear. Nose-high would have shorn off our belly antennas and fragged the main doors and flaps. If it jumped, we would have possibly lost a windshield or FOD-damaged one or both motors. We would have been climbing into IMC on one motor with questionable gear and flaps. Has anybody ever struck an animal this large on takeoff?

It seems to me the best option is to raise the nose a bit and then do a hard abort. Thoughts?
Abort after VR?

If you hit it you hit it. 140 kias is no time to play gran turismo with a jet aircraft. I know more than likely nothing structually will fail, (wings, vert/hortizontal) Just pray you dont FOD both engines and have dual engine failure. Loss of directional control above VR and not being able to recover the aircraft into the air I think would be the biggest fear.

As for gear, flaps and other damage, well. We've all see plenty of aircraft land belly up and without flaps.

I'd take my chances with just maintain directional control, fly the aircraft, divert to the nearest long runway and land.
 

phr8dawg

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Your're right, no time for that kind of a decision. This was my third deer sighting adjacent to a runway, but the first time it was a collision hazard. It only seems to happen when a treeline is close.
 
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