Buzzard Strike (updated)

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This is the most bizarre aviation video I have seen in a long time. It was shot in Miami just before the Superbowl, and it shows the results of a bird strike in a helicopter.

Bird strikes are unpleasant for all involved, starting with the bird. Small-seeming birds can do an amazingly large amount of damage to an aircraft (cf: "Miracle on the Hudson"). This involves a big bird, and the results are much different from normal for all involved.



Thanks to John Tierney of Sense & Nonsense for this tip; original source was here. The video has the virtue of being both creepy and semi-miraculous.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader J. Stein, I now know that the headline for this item should actually be "turkey vulture strike." Details below. Live and learn!

"In the interests of communicating clearly with your international readership-- this is a Turkey Vulture, not a Buzzard.  Buzzard is the name of a large class of buteo hawks on the other side of the Atlantic (same family as our North American Red-Tailed Hawks).

http://www.naturalbornbirder.com/gallery/Common_buzzard_8664_e.jpg

http://www.dvoc.org/Conservation/Corner2007/Images/Turkey-Vulture-BINNS-IMG_96.jpg

"Presumably in the pre-binocular days, European settlers saw these large soaring creatures in the sky and thought they were actually buzzards, and the colloquial name stuck even after the mistake became clear."
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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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