Narrative:A Cessna 208B, N892FE, struck a bird while on approach to Sacramento International Airport, CA (SMF). The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight plan was in effect.
According to the pilot, he was approaching runway 16R. The airplane was on final approach at 300 feet above ground level when the pilot saw about five large birds. The pilot felt an impact to the airplane and the airplane rolled to the right as speed was reduced. The pilot corrected the roll with opposite aileron and rudder input and the aircraft landed on runway 16R.
Post accident examination showed damage to the right wing landing/taxi light area. Impact to the spar web resulted in the spar cap twisting downward. Two holes were punctured through the spar web. The sheet metal directly behind the landing light assembly was torn loose. Additionally, some control loss was experienced by the pilot due to the aileron control cables being pushed out of position.
Remains from the bird were recovered from the damage site and sent to the Smithsonian Institute for identification. According to the test results, the remains were identified as tundra swan.
PROBABLE CAUSE: "An in-flight collision with a bird while on final approach."
This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not
display the exact flight path.
Distance from Arcata Airport, CA to Sacramento International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 330 km (206 miles).