When an F-111 Collided with a Pelican ...

What happened when an F-111 fighter jet collided with a large pelican? It's amazing that the pilot recovered the plane and landed safely:

AN F-111 was left "shredded" and incapacitated and was forced to make a spectacular emergency landing after hitting a pelican.

The jet was flying at 900m on a test bombing raid at Evans Head, northern NSW, when a pelican struck the fibreglass nose and was sucked into an engine.

The two RAAF crew are being hailed as heroes by their colleagues for their skilful recovery and landing on April 11. The damage, included a hole in one wing. Aviation experts said flying the plane would have been extremely difficult because the aircraft would have been unstable.

Story by James O'Loan and Alex Dickinson: Article | Gallery - via OhGizmo!


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This story is actually a bit older than the article lets on. It is one of the many tried and failed shots during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The director, Speilberg, wanted a bigger plane for a bigger explosion, but the newer planes of the day were too "structurally sound" and therefore did not give the desired "boom." In frustration, Speilberg decided to go with the less structural and, obviously, period WWII plane. The use of seagulls in final production was due to the high cost of pelicans and no one cares for seagulls.
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It is hard for me to imagine a pelican doing this much damage. I have always had a fear of the plane hitting something while we are flying. *shudder*
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