Pilot narrowly escapes horror death as eagle smashes through plane window

A trainee pilot had a lucky escape after an eagle smashed through the cockpit of the plane he was flying.

The bird of prey hit the small aircraft while it was travelling at around 124mph in the Czech Republic on Wednesday (February 8).

The pilot, a 23-year-old student, was having a flying lesson when the bird smashed into the plane's propeller and through the window, leaving a gory mess.

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The instructor managed to take control of the plane and perform a successful emergency landing at Hradec Kralove Airport.

The student meanwhile received minor injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment.

The plane, a Cessna, was badly damaged and will cost around £37,000 to repair.

A local police officer said: "Shortly after 2pm, a Cessna aircraft made an emergency landing at the Hradec airport, in which pilot training was taking place and which collided with an eagle at a speed of approximately 200kph.

"After the collision, the pilot instructor took over from the student and landed safely.

"As a result of the collision, the front propeller and windshield were damaged."

The bird died on impact and was left horrifically mutilated and split in half, with one half of its body landing in the back seat.

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The police officer said: "Both the pilot and the student were ruled out of having consumed alcohol by a breath test."

Employees of the Institute for Professional Investigation of the Causes of Air Accidents arrived at the site after the incident and will prepare an expert statement on what happened, where they are expected to confirm it as a freak accident.

Planes being grounded by birds are not unheard of.

Only two weeks ago, an Air Asia plane was forced into an emergency landing at Lucknow airport after being hit by a bird during the take-off.

The air carrier said: “Flight i5-319, scheduled to operate from Lucknow to Kolkata, encountered a bird strike during the take-off roll. As a result, the aircraft returned to the bay and was grounded for detailed inspection.”

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