19 October 2022
On 7 October 2022 a Stat Medevac helicopter had to make an emergency landing in Greenfield Township in Erie County, PA because it hit a flock of geese. One of the geese crashed through the bubble on the pilot’s side. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.
The first responders, Greenfield Township Volunteer Fire Company, posted this report on Facebook. Two more helicopters came to the aid of the first one — one to take the patient to the proper destination and one to evacuate the crash crew.
Two photos supplied by Mary Brush at StatMedEvac Pittsburgh show the damage to the helicopter. On the right you can see the hole in pilot’s-side windshield.
You may be surprised that Canada geese were flying at night but this is normal during fall migration. That night in Erie County the wind was from the northwest, perfect for heading south.
Geese are not nocturnal birds but are known to fly at night when they migrate south in Autumn. There are three main reasons behind their nightly migratory routine: to escape their diurnal predators, to avoid thermal interruption, and to benefit from the cooler winds of nighttime
Nighttime bird crashes are rare nowadays because aircraft are supplied with Pulselite equipment that helps the birds visually locate the aircraft. Pulselites also make it easier for humans to do the same.