First, let me set this up and then ask a general question. I'm just trying to give some context as to why I'm asking.
I'm working on my private pilot license and was practicing with my PC simulator (X-plane) this weekend. I was flying a Mooney m20j out of John Wayne (KSNA, which has two runways, 16R/1L 16L/1R). I took off from 16R and at about 300AGL I encountered a bird strike and my engine died (though my windshield was intact).
I was just about at the end of the runway so I declared an emergency (yeah, I've been talking to myself...) and said I was going to turn the plane around and land on 1R (so, the parallel runway in the opposite direction.) I was kind of panicking and had no idea what to do, this was just the first thing that sprang to mind.
I started the turn and quickly realized I was sliding sideways towards the ground, so I leveled out the plane a bit and ended up making a short approach on a taxiway, which I managed to land (though that may be down to the simulator being a bit forgiving and not me, really.) So the plane survived...
So I've got two questions, the first a little specific (though I'll try to generalize it) and the second nice and general so it applies to a wider audience.
Is the process I described a good approach to a bird strike during take off?
In review, I feel I probably would have been better off just landing straight ahead on a road or open field, but I thought I'd ask.
What is the best way to deal with a bird strike or incident on takeoff that fails the engine?
I'm particularly interested in situations where the plane is about at the end of the runway - if it happens right as you take off you can just put it back down, and if you're much higher up you have a lot of options because you can glide for a while. But right at the runways end, when you have very little altitude and no more runway... What's the proper procedure?