…aaaand they’re back. It seems to be seagull season again. The day before my flight RTH and I had taken a very creepy walk along the lakefront, our every step being watched by the aforementioned avian creatures.
As I came for the “touch” part of a touch and go I heard the plane in front of me report a large flock of the “rats of the sky” by Foxtrot. Tower dutifully passed on this info to me.
I acknowledged, barely, more intent on concentrating on not effing up my soft field landing, my most hated of speciality landings.
All was fine for the landing part but on the takeoff roll I saw a flock of the little buggers flapping aimlessly around, threatening to become airborne at the same time as me.
Almost unconsciously I keep the nose down a little longer and rotate late, trying to get ahead of them on the ground. The tactic seems to work, at least for the flock on the ground.
The trouble comes from another bunch, who are deciding to do their airborne aerobatics just at the end of the runway. Again, seemingly without thinking, I transition to best angle of climb, knowing that birds tend to dive when approached by a large aircraft.
We get over them, but not before Bob has called them a few choice words!
It was a little closer than I’d like but the avian wildlife is just a fact of life around here and a hazard you learn to live with.
I was mildly amused to notice that I did actually duck as we flew through them though.