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Bat Strike Injures Pilot

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Every pilot is wary of bird strikes but an Australian cropduster pilot has new respect for bat strikes. Josh Liddle was on final for Ingham Airport in north Queesnsland when his aircraft went through a colony of bats. It was just after dark and the bats were headed out hunting when the big single went through the middle of them. One went through the windshield and hit Liddle in the face. "I felt a big smack on my face," he said. Although he was immediately treated for the related injuries, the nature of the mishap has added some medical complications for Liddle.

Bats can carry rabies and doctors took no chances as Liddle was covered with gore from the small mammal, which he said "exploded" in the cockpit. "My wife rang the doctor and I had to go in to get needles -- six in the face, my chest, one in my arm, and two in my bum," he said. Liddle said he often encounters bat colonies while spraying crops but he does not believe there should be a cull to reduce their numbers.

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