Illinois Pilot Makes Emergency Landing After Seagull Shatters Helicopter Windshield
A helicopter pilot from Fox 32, a TV station in Chicago, had to make an emergency landing after a seagull hit him in the face.
A helicopter pilot from Chicago made a successful emergency landing in a field in Wisconsin on Wednesday after the aircraft collided with a bird. Mike Sypien, the pilot, had been flying back to Chicago from Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the helicopter had undergone routine maintenance.
The seagull collision occurred around 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, causing the windshield to shatter and the bird hitting Mr. Sypien in the face. Due to the chopper's speed and the angle at which the bird collided, the vehicle was forced to make an emergency landing right away.
With the windshield broken, Mr. Sypien was deftly avoiding power lines, touching the craft down in a field in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
Landing In Wisconsin
Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue Chief David Wilkinson told WFLD-TV, the Chicago area Fox affiliate;
“We know that he was traveling at a good speed en route southbound after leaving the airport, and took the bird strike and was able to [stay] calm and collected, [and] land in a field without having to disrupt any traffic or cause anybody harm.”
Fire officials announced via Facebook that Mr. Sypien and his photographer, Paul Buscemi, sustained only minor abrasions from their recent plane crash. Though medical transportation was offered, both individuals refused. Thankfully, Kari Nevek, the owner of the farm where they landed, had a helper who happened to be a paramedic and was able to provide immediate assistance.
According to Ms. Nevek, the pilot was very calm and focused on the safety of his passenger.
According to the FAA, there were 225 bird strikes in Illinois and 84 in Wisconsin in 2022.