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. 

267230 randal endsley standing with helicopter windshield on display df5c8e large 1513005700

Chief Medical Officer Randal Endsley ( HALO Flight )

267231 helicopter with bird damaged windshield ( example ) 301821 large 1513005704
Medium square bell logo

Media Relations

Lindsey Hughes
mediarelations@bh.com
+1 817-280-3100
Medium square bell logo

China

Herbert Wu
hwu@bellflight.com
+86(10)6567 4367
Medium square bell logo

Singapore | Asia-Pacific

Eugene Tan
ytan@bellflight.com
O: +65 6690-9741
M: +65 8798-0183
Media Kit

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were aboard NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.