A Florida pilot said he felt flat out panic after a bird shattered the front window of his small aircraft -- in mid-air. But if he felt it, he didn't show it: He safely landed the plane moments later.
Rob Weber said he was traveling at 170 mph Saturday afternoon, traveling toward Page Field Airport in Fort Myers, when the bird struck the window.
"All of the sudden the window just explodes," Weber told local media. "I don't know if he was diving or what happened when I got him."
A local NBC affiliate quoted Weber as saying that, seemingly in a split second, the window was gone and there was blood everywhere.
The pilot said he never actually saw the bird come in the cockpit, and has no idea what it was doing before the impact. He later found the carcass in between the plane's two seats.
The incident was caught on camera, and the startling footage is now rocketing across the Internet.
Weber, who was about 1,000 feet above ground, said he just turned his focus to a safe landing.
He radioed in the emergency, and firefighters rushed to meet his single-engine aircraft as a safety precaution.
Weber suffered a cut on his forehead, but no other physical injuries.
Collisions between birds and airplanes -- dubbed bird strike -- is a significant aviation worry, according to Skybrary.
And according to Bird Strike Committee USA, collisions between planes and birds or other wildlife causes more than $700 million in damages to U.S. civil and military aviation each year. The organization says more than 250 people have been killed worldwide as a result of wildlife strikes since 1988.
Perhaps the most famous example of bird strike occurred during the so-called Miracle on the Hudson: A flock of geese collided with US Airways Flight 1549 moments after it left LaGuardia Airport in Queens in January 2009.
Capt. Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III became a hero and a household name for safely landing the plane on the Hudson River.
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