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  #1  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:24 PM
Sam Buchanan's Avatar
Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Location: North Alabama
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Default Joined the Bird Strike Club Today

After coexisting uneventfully with our feathered aviators for thirty years my luck ran out today. If this can't be pulled out enough for "body repair" this will be a long, involved repair. No telling how long it would take to get an RV-6 leading edge skin from Vans these days.....

Very grateful it wasn't a canopy or tail strike.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 04-30-2021 at 06:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:33 PM
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Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Glad it was only the outer wing, looks like the tank is still fine.
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  #3  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:35 PM
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Mike, on the older RVs a tank is MUCH easier to repair than a leading edge. No pre-punched skins.....
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  #4  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:41 PM
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That's bad luck for both you and the bird but lucky as you say that it wasn't the canopy or the tail. It must have been some sizeable bird like a duck or a buzzard?
It may be possible to roll your own replacement skin from stock if not available from Vans or another builder. A patch may work too. Good luck and looking forward to seeing how you repair it!
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:52 PM
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Location: Cedar Park, TX
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Welcome to the club! Compared to mine, that is full Sesamy street big bird style!

I barely felt mine in the darkness. The air was so calm that my brain said it felt like the elevator bell crank bolt just hit the fuselage bottom . Really, "do I still have control of this airplane?" Pushing back into the hangar at night as the light caught the wing, "what's that?". My speed bump flies just fine and I'll fix it when I get around to it (2yrs later).
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2021, 06:53 PM
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Paul, our airport is a mile or so from a wildlife refuge and we have numerous waterfoul in our airspace. I suspect it was a small duck or something similar, that is a significant dent.

I'll try pulling it first....nothing to lose by trying.
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  #7  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:09 PM
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That is a nasty dent but I don't think it would require replacement of the LE skin (which would be a big job on a -6 as you say.) A friend had a similar dent in the same spot recently (severe hangar rash) and did an amazing job with a dent puller tool. Failing that the section could be cut out, patched from the inside then a flush patch on the outside. You have good access to the inside with the tank removed... but you knew that.

Good luck and keep us posted. Yours may be the most famous 6 around and was an inspiration to many of us back in the day.
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  #8  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:40 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Thank you Jeff and others for the encouragement. Replacing the skin is definitely the last resort, (I can't imagine what a hassle that would be) I can deal with less than perfect esthetics as long as it isn't too imperfect.

This RV-6 has served faithfully for 21 years, today is the first time its been bruised. We were lucky, a bird that size could have caused catastrophic consequences. I looked up from the tach and only saw it for a split second as it was diving directly in front of me--I thought it went under the wing and hit the gear or rear fuse. It was only after getting out of the plane I saw the damage.

And yes, the -6 continued to fly normally post impact (turned immediately back to the airport, had only gotten a couple miles away) but you would think stall characteristics might have been effected.
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 04-30-2021 at 07:44 PM.
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  #9  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:47 PM
g zero g zero is offline
 
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Default Bird Strike

Maybe a good location for a landing light
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g zero View Post
Maybe a good location for a landing light


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