Local News

Bird strike grounds Duke medical helicopter

Posted November 9, 2009 3:16 p.m. EST
Updated November 9, 2009 5:43 p.m. EST

— A Duke University Medical Center helicopter was damaged Sunday when it collided with a bird while returning from Virginia, officials said.

The Duke Lifeflight helicopter had picked up a patient in Danville, Va., and was on its way back to Durham when a chicken hawk flew into the tail of the aircraft and damaged it, officials said.

The pilot landed safely in a Yanceyville neighborhood, and neither the patient nor anyone on the helicopter's crew was injured in the incident, officials said. Duke called UNC Hospitals for assistance, and another helicopter flew out to pick up the patient for the rest of the flight to Durham.

Maintenance workers were sent to Caswell County on Monday to repair the damage so the helicopter could return to Durham, officials said.