712 Digital Group - top

Chopper pilot back at work after a large bird crashes into his cockpit


December 8th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A pilot working with a critical-care helicopter service in Iowa has returned to work after a bird crashed through the windshield and struck him in the head last month. KCAU-TV in Sioux City reports Troy McCormick, of Wings Air Rescue in Sioux City, was flying toward a hospital in Storm Lake on Nov. 23 when the incident took place.

The bird smashed through the windscreen and hit McCormick on the side of the head before disintegrating inside the helicopter. A fellow crew member quickly canceled their mission and diverted the helicopter to Storm Lake airport with McCormick dazed but uninjured, and covered in blood and feathers. .”

McCormick believes he was hit by a duck, but he’s not sure. McCormick has been flying since 2001 and joined Wings Air Rescue roughly a year ago. He considers the incident a freak accident.

Wednesday (Dec. 6) was McCormick’s first day back to work since the incident. He said he was excited to be back in the sky continuing to save lives — and he hopes to avoid any birds.