I went out for another really early flight this morning. I dropped into Hollister for some pattern work and hit a bird during the flare to land. I was planning on just a touch and go, but I stopped on the ramp and shut down to see if there was any damage. This is what I found. I pulled it out along with a couple of feathers I could reach through the inlet. The neck was nearly severed and was just hanging on with a few tendons. Satisfied that there was no damage, I launched again and headed back to South County for further inspection.
When I pulled the cowl and plenum, there were feathers everywhere. Here’s a small one that stuck to some of the sealant on the injector line.
There were a couple stuck in various places behind the engine. This is one of the long wing feathers that somehow made it back here.
There were a bunch of feathers down between the cylinder fins and stuck against the heater muff screen. I’m glad I put a screen here since these could have found their way into the cabin.
There were also a bunch on the screen going to the oil cooler. Much easier to clean here than pulling the oil cooler plenum. There were also a couple of blood stains that required a bit of cleaning. Overall, it was probably on 10-15 minutes to get it all out and there was absolutely no damage. It could have been much worse.