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How high do birds routienly fly? I ususally see them fly not more than 800 or so feet AGL, but what height do they cruise at? I read somewhere that the highest reported bird strike was at 39,000 feet. Some bird (it's extinct now haha.)!
Also, does anyone know anything (or have a link to a site) about the physics of bird flight? Just curious! Thanks.
Well, I know they fly at 4000ft MSL. Last fall doing my x-cnry for my private I got a pretty good size bird in the windshield. It made it through the prop without damage so at least it was a clean strike. It was an unbelieveably loud impact (doing all of 100kts in a 172). Can't imagine impacts at cruising speed for commercial jets.
I know some birds get caught in updrafts which take them to 30,000+ feet! The problem is there is too little air up there for most birds to breath, so they die. Can you imagine seeing a dead bird as you are cruising a long? I would love to advice the controller of dead birds at *,000 feet over *!!
I did come accross a bird coming back from FUL once, I was shooked to see it and to the best of my memory it was 1,500+ feet.
Insects on the hand do not fly more then 10 feet in the air.
Insects do in fact fly over 10 feet AGL. I was flying a glider, being released at 3000 feet or so. The fresh air vent has no filter of any sort, so anything of any size over the top of a pop can can get in. A huge bug got in, and hit me smack in the face. Also, flying a cross-country at 4,000 feet once, we smacked a big bug that ran across the windshield. It was gross... big white gunk everywhere. It made visibility really limited.
Oh, I might be getting confused with just bees (compared to the whole insect family), althought I thought I read that insects could not fly over 10 feet AGL. Maybe the insect held onto your tow too!
Last weekend I saw a flock of birds(seagulls?) at 4000MSL. They were only about 40 ft above me at 12 o'clock. The closest I've ever come was about 10ft on base to a hawk at about 700ft.
I remember on my second lesson we were at 3000ft and saw to hawks "making sweet love." It was really interesting, they would hook up at about 3000 and dive. Anybody ever see this??
Did you know...757/767 windscreen only rated to withstand impact of 4lb bird at roughly 200kts? Vertical stab. rated for 8lb bird strike. Two swans killed at JFK recently were over 25 lbs.!! Kinda scary.
Just saw birds this morning well above me and I was at 4000. Looked to be some type of geese as they appeared to be in "formation". It appeared that they were at least 500 to 1000 feet above me.
I hit some sort of bird a few yeas back. minor nic on the prop, and a lot of red spewie stuff mixed with feathers along the side, and leading edge of the wing.

Another firend of mine hit a Buzzard in his Bonanza in IMC, caved in the leading edge to the wing spar. sorta like deploying flaps on one side only. This guy then canx his clearence and decended through and broke out at about 800 ft, and flew 100 miles to his buddy's shop for the repair. (he is a retired test pilot, but **STILL*) sheesh
I've heard of them at over FL300 before, but have you ever seen one dive into the ground before? I was driving down the road in a big truck once, and had one hit the ground in front of me. It sent chills and shivers up and down my spine as I thought of what that "bird" could have been in other situations.

You think it's weird seeing birds and bugs at altitude? Try corn husks! That's right! Very frequently in the end of summer you'll be flying along at 3000' MSL here in Illinois and shooooooowppppp there goes a corn husk. There's no corn inside of course, just the "shell." I couldn't believe it when I saw it! Amazing stuff.
Flying at night a while back enroute from JFK to Providence, we hit a bird at 6,000'. We had the landing lights on, and all I saw was a white streak, right before we felt it. It was a clean hit, striking the belly of the Saab. Gave us a decent "thud," which according to the F/A, instantly woke everyone up. On the post flight inspection, I found bird feathers wedged in pretty good on the belly, though surprisingly not too much blood. Must have glanced off.