A friend sent me a link to these pictures from a small airplane (an RV10) that suffered a bird strike. Apparently, the bird (unknown species) crashed through the windscreen and slammed into the back window, eventually landing in the baggage area. I don't know any more details, about the pilot or his proximity to an airport, etc, but I imagine it took some nerves of steel to continue on and land that aircraft safely.
I read another report some time ago about a plane that impacted a Canadian Goose (or vice versa). The bird ended up lodged in the back window. On its way there, it shattered the windscreen, blinded the pilot in one eye, and knocked off his headset. If you've ever been in a small aircraft without a headset, it's noisy. Without a headset and without a windscreen? It's gonna feel like a frickin' hurricane. Yet, somehow, the pilot, bleeding profusely from his damaged eye, deafened by noise, pummeled by wind, and probably in some level of shock, still managed to land his craft. Damn!
As a pilot, I imagine how I would deal with these situations. In fact, we are forced to deal with emergencies like simulated engine failures throughout our training. There is no doubt that pilot training teaches you to be calm in situations that might cause others to panic. It also increases your confidence and your situational awareness, making you a better driver (god knows we need more of those on the road). It is awesome training for young people in particular. So, yes, I encourage everyone to get some pilot training.
But beyond that, I tell this story because I hope everyone out there appreciates our Sky Warriors that fly us from point A to point B every day. A couple days ago a United pilot suffered a heart attack but the crew still managed to land the plane safely. 99.9999% of the time nothing goes wrong on those long, boring flights we all take for work, vacation, travel, etc. But know that the calm voice coming from the cockpit has worked his or her butt off staying current on the machinery and probably gone into significant debt accruing hours of expensive practice All just so he or she could take you to your destination safely.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox. Just remember, go love yourself a pilot today.