Late last month, a helicopter rescue pilot was on his way to pick up a patient when a bird crashed through his chopper’s windshield. He thinks it was a duck.
Troy McCormick canceled the job, as the bird hit him in the side of the head before it “exploded all over in the inside of the aircraft,” he told KCAU.
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“Knocked me out for a little bit I think,” said McCormick, who flies for Wings Air Rescue in Sioux City, Iowa. “I don’t remember some of the information about what all happened. I remembered [a fellow crew member] talking to me a little bit, telling me what we needed to do, and we did that. We were able to land at the airport safely.”
The helicopter was damaged significantly, with a large bird-sized hole in the windshield and fowl remains everywhere. McCormick wasn’t injured, though he was covered in blood and feathers.
McCormick has been flying since 2001 and described the incident as a freak accident.
“It’s not very common,” he told KCAU. “Now we do have to look out for birds all of the time and we do dodge birds once in a while. We have had some hit glass, different parts of the aircraft, and have not had any issues, but to actually come through the windscreen, never experienced that.”
McCormick is grateful that he wasn’t seriously injured and returned to work earlier this week.