A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter pilot is recovering from a head injury after a duck flew through the windshield, shattering it.
The incident happened Wednesday at about 10:15 p.m. The State Patrol said the flight initially was requested to help assist law enforcement in Wabasha County. While the pilots were on their way back, a duck flew through the windshield.
The pilots were somehow able to fly the helicopter to the St. Paul Airport, despite a massive hole in the windshield.
The pilot who was hit was wearing his helmet and the helmet shield down at the time of the bird entering the aircraft, according to Sgt. Jesse Grabow.
"The pilot was in control and remained in control of the helicopter, returned and landed back at the St. Paul Airport, which is approximately 35 miles from where the incident occurred," Grabow told Bring Me The News.
The pilot struck by the duck was taken to Regions Hospital to treat injuries, and he has since been released. Grabow said that bird strikes happen, with most of them not being realized until after the flight. However, birds coming through the aircraft itself "are not common."
Damages to the helicopter are still being assessed as of Thursday.