But The Mail Did Go Through
It was a routine mail haul. Young Harry Griffing III had just
taken off from Put-In-Bay (OH)in his company's Britten Norman BN2A
Islander (file photo of type, below) Friday when the windscreen
virtually exploded in his face.
He'd hit a seagull.
The 21-year old pilot was temporarily blinded, according to the
Cleveland Plain-Dealer. The only other person on board the aircraft
was 67-year old Ernest Owen, Jr. And Ernest wasn't a pilot.
"I said, 'Hey, am I bleeding?'" Griffing said. "He said, 'Yeah.'
Once I figured out I wasn't hurt that badly I took over the
controls and landed it at Middle Bass Airport."
Griffing was flown by helicopter to Firelands Regional Medical
Center, where he was treated for a nasty cut under his eye. He was
back in the air again Saturday, flying the mail, according to his
As for Owen, who held the aircraft steady while Griffing wiped
the blood from his eyes and picked the glass out of his face, his
wife had high words of praise.
"He's not a licensed pilot, but he's been flying long enough to
know what to do in cases like this," she told the Plain-Dealer.
FAA Preliminary Accident Report
Regis#: 4435 Make/Model: BN2P
Description: BN-2A/B ISLANDER
Date: 07/09/2004 Time: 1328
Event Type: Incident Highest Injury:
Minor Mid Air: N Missing: N
City: SOUTH BASS ISLAND State:
OH Country: US
SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF FROM PUT-IN-BAY ARPT (3W2) A BIRD
STRIKE BROKE THE
WINDSHIELD AND STRUCK PILOT IN THE FACE. SOUTH BASS ISLAND,
INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0
1 Fat: 0 Ser: 0
Min: 1 Unk:
0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0
Min: 0 Unk:
0 Ser: 0 Min: 0
Activity: Business Phase: Take-off
Operation: General Aviation
Departed: PUT-IN-BAY (3W2)
Dep Date: 07/09/2004 Dep. Time: 1328
Flt Plan: NONE Wx Briefing: U
Last Radio Cont: PUT-IN-BAY UNICOM
Last Clearance: NONE
FAA FSDO: CLEVELAND, OH
(GL25) Entry date: