Coaches' USO tour plane hits birds in Germany

Eagles coach Andy Reid, Vikings coach Brad Childress, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, and Panthers coach John Fox received a major scare as their military plane took off from Germany.

Per NFL Director of Community Affairs David Krichavsky, who is accompanying the coaches on their tour, the C17 struck a bird during takeoff, forcing the pilots to make a quick landing so that the damage could be inspected.

Here’s Krichavsky’s account, via the Eagles’ website:

“Everyone then settled into their seats, and our plane headed down
the runway and got airborne.  After climbing in the sky for only 30-60
seconds though, there was a solid thump on the right side of the
airplane.  Then the ‘load masters’ (airmen who are responsible for the
cargo in a plane) who were in the cabin of the C17 with us started
running around the plane and looking out the windows a bit frantically
.  Something was clearly amiss.   A minute later, one of the pilots came
on the load speaker and announced, ‘We hit a bird on take-off.  We don’t
know what damage has been done to the plane.  We are currently circling
and will be landing back at Ramstein soon.’

“Although 3 of the 4 coaches were up in the cockpit and none of them — including Coach Reid —  had any control over the plane, Coach Reid got
all the abuse for this accident.  As soon as the head coach of the
Eagles descended from the cockpit, the group was ready for him:  ‘Who let
Captain Eagle up there? . . . Nice work, Birdman. . . Reid is done; no
more flying for him!’  I think I even heard Coach Fox mention that it
was a good thing that we didn’t have to call in Sully for the emergency

It’s good that they were able to joke about it after the fact, but bird strikes can be very serious.  The fact that it happened underscores the sacrifices these men are making during the rare and precious down time they enjoy every year.  Yes, we continue to maintain that being a football coach isn’t really work, but the human body needs rest.  This is their chance to get it, and they’ve decided instead to risk life and limb by heading to the Middle East to visit with the folks who are helping to keep us all safe.

23 responses to “Coaches' USO tour plane hits birds in Germany

  1. Oh, I would have thought they would make jokes about him being so damn fat that it threw the balance of the plane off.

  2. After the accident, Reid had the birds deep fried and served with ranch dressing.

  3. Reid then made a rude comment to Fox about about Coach Fox’s lame duck status, and they then resorted to fisticuffs. It’s true!

  4. Reid was later credited as saying, “Mmmmmm. Fried Chicken. Yum Yum eat ’em up.”

  5. OK they’re doing a noble thing by going on the USO tour, but a bird strike on a plane that could happen to any plane around the world underscores risking life and limb? Sorry but that’s more than a bit of a stretch. If that’s true then we all risk life and limb every time we get on a plane to go anywhere and we should all be commended for putting so much mortal risk into our endeavors, even when they’re for things like tropical vacations and trips to Sin City.
    If it was just an excuse to laud them for doing a USO tour then fine but just say that. The risking life and limb by getting on a plane is a bit silly and USO tours being risky for celebrities is also a bit silly.

  6. A bit over the top on the “risk” the coaches take. What about the pilots and the crew that do that on a daily basis?
    They should’ve been in a C-5, those things are beasts. I think they’ve only had like 3 of them crash in the 50+ years the Air Force has been using them – and one of them that went down near Dover Air Force Base about 4 years ago may have been due to pilot error by the Reservist flying it.

  7. jj jones says:
    July 2, 2010 9:57 AM
    “After the accident, Reid had the birds deep fried and served with ranch dressing.”
    Someone give this man a trophy!

  8. Shortly after the take off, ground crews spotted head coaches Wade Phillips, Mike McCarthy, and Harbaugh sneaking off the runway with large empty bird crates.

  9. # Big M says: July 2, 2010 10:18 AM
    jj jones says:
    July 2, 2010 9:57 AM
    “After the accident, Reid had the birds deep fried and served with ranch dressing.”
    ——————– ——————– ———
    Someone give this man a trophy!
    Agree with Big M. That comment was Phenomenal!!
    And I rarely use the word Phenomenal.

  10. Sow which is riskier – routine flights on a military aircraft or attending a Michael Vick birthday party?

  11. One Lousy Bird – 1 U.S. Military + 200 years NFL coaching exp. – 0

  12. Chilly,being the true professional he is, broke his flight dress out again to calm the other coaches. Keep up the good work Chilly!

  13. You know, what I’ve always wondered, with all these ball clubs flying around all season don’t you think there would be a plane crash? …
    But if you think about it…32 teams, 20 games a season, you’d think eventually an entire team would get wiped out.
    Uh, it’s only a matter of time.

  14. Nobody’s made a “load masters” joke?!
    Andy Reid is the “load master” of the home bathroom, Roethlisberger’s the load master of the bar bathroom.

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