We have all heard of stories about aircraft involving bird strikes but here is an odd story that was recently noted on General Aviation News about a Cirrus SR20 striking a deer during takeoff in Greenville, Michigan. According to the August 2008 accident report provided by the National Transportation Safety Board, the pilot was:
…attempting a touch and go landing at night. Just as he was rotating, he saw a deer run across the runway and heard a loud bang and the airplane veered slightly to the left. The pilot thought he had hit a deer, but he continued the takeoff as he did not have enough runway left to stop. Once airborne, the pilot was able to see the damage on the left wing. He stated he maintained an additional 10 knots of airspeed and returned to land. The airplane handled well until short final when the left wing dropped and hit the runway first. The pilot was able to bring the airplane to a stop.
However, and while there were no injuries on board the aircraft, damage to the aircraft (and no doubt to the deer as well) was substantial. Hence, and the next time you are taking off or landing near a wooded area, be sure to watch out for deer on the runway!