This incredible photo was captured shortly after 10:30am Sunday 30th May 2021 at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga.
Local photographer Matt Pulinski happened to be in the right place at the right time to snap this photo of a Learjet encountering a bird strike upon take-off.
A large bird collided with the jet, prompting a precautionary emergency landing.
Fortunately, no crew members or passengers sustained injuries, but the bird did not fair as well.
According to the FAA, bird strikes account for 94% of all wildlife collisions with aircraft, totalling over 227,000 incidents in the US since 1990, with 842 recorded incidents at BNIA alone. While bird strikes are incredibly common in the aviation industry, it’s extremely rare event to photograph, considering the event happens in less than a second and is nearly impossible to predict. That makes this image, quite literally, a one in a million shot.