[In behalf of Anonymous user, originally posted on 22 Oct 2008]
A course-mate of mine and I were practising circuits at Palmerston North. I was front-seating him as i was bored and hadn't flown for a very long time. It was in the late afternoon and we the only aircraft in the circuit. Everything was fine and we had done about 7 touch and gos. While we were on downwind, tower informed us that there were a flock of birds around the threshold and that we might need to go around. We acknowledged and continued on with our approach. Established on final, we could see about 10 - 15 birds flying in formation close to the threshold. We continued our approach but was cautious. My mate had his hand on the throttle with the intention of going around at any point he feels uncomfortable.
About 600 feet to the threshold, the birds started to fly away to the northern part of the runway. Noticing that, ATC gave us clearance to land. We carried on with our approach. About 30 feet prior to touchdown, we heard a loud thud coming from the port side of the aircraft. By then it was too late to go around as our main wheel had touched the ground. We informed ATC that we might have hit something about the 700 foot marker. ATC responded by sending out Rescue 1. We continued to taxy the aircraft back to the apron.
As were entering the apron to park our aircraft, ATC called us to say that a dead bird was found around where we thought we might have hit the something.
After parking the aircraft, we went out to check the port wing of our aircraft. There was no sign of damage but we informed operations and engineering that we had hit a bird.
Thankfully it was a small bird. Imagine if the entire flock of birds had slammed into us…. We wouldn't have been so lucky then..