Pilot Keith Baird initially thought something aboard his 1968 Cessna 210 had exploded just after takeoff on December 28 when he heard a loud bang and a significant increase in outside air noise. It turned out that Baird’s Cessna had struck a Canada goose as the aircraft was climbing through 400 feet on departure from the Chicago-area Brookeridge Airpark.
A private, instrument-rated pilot with 30 years’ experience, Baird kept his wits about him and circled back to the airport for a safe landing. Neither Baird nor his right-seat passenger received so much as a scratch in the incident, despite the fact that Baird was hit in the head by the 210’s compass.
Baird told AIN that because the goose, which he estimated to weigh about 15 pounds, hit near the top center of the windshield, the whiskey compass broke free and hit him in the head. However, he was uninjured because it bounced off the padded headband of his Bose headset before coming to rest in the rear of the aircraft’s cabin.
His new Christmas present–a Go-Pro Hero 3+ camera–captured the entire event from the rear of the aircraft’s cabin.