When Birds Strike: How To Prepare Your Aircraft For Unfortunate Circumstances

It's always best to be prepared.

18 October 2017

Since helicopters can operate at low heights, there is always a risk of colliding with flying birds. While this circumstance is unfortunate, it is common. Randal Endsley, Chief Medical Officer of HALO Flight, recalls his bird strike encounter while transporting a patient to a nearby hospital:

“In 2012, my partner and I were flying the Bell 407 and we had just picked up a patient with head and eye injuries and were flying the patient to the Trauma Center in Corpus Christi. It was very dark, probably about midnight.  We were just about to cross Corpus Christi International Airport, we were at about 1,200 feet when suddenly, I hear a loud boom and a rush of air into the cabin. The first thing that went through my mind is that a door had blown off the aircraft. Instinctively, the pilot veered left because a bird had directly hit the windshield in front of him. I remember asking the pilot, what had just happened and he was very calm and responded that we had just lost our windshield and we needed to land. 

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Chief Medical Officer Randal Endsley ( HALO Flight )

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