Dallas police chopper lands safely after bird strike

The pilot of a Dallas police helicopter suffered minor injuries after the aircraft struck a bird over Lake Ray Hubbard.

DALLAS — A Dallas Police Department helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Monday night after hitting a bird over Lake Ray Hubbard

Police spokesman Maj. Max Geron said the pilot, Sgt. Todd Limerick, suffered minor injuries at about 8:30 p.m. when the windshield shattered on impact when it struck an American coot, a duck-like waterfowl also known as a mud hen.

The co-pilot, Sr. Cpl. Laurent Lespagnol, was able to safely land the aircraft and Limerick was taken to Baylor University Medical Center for treatment of cuts to the face and arms.

Dallas police said Tuesday Lespagnol faced dangerous landing conditions because of the darkness of the night and the possibility of nearby power lines, but he was able to bring the helicopter down safely in the Robertson Park area.

Air One had been deployed to search for a boater whose craft had capsized, police said. The boater was safely rescued.

A mechanic was dispatched to the scene for a temporary fix, and the co-pilot later flew the helicopter back to base for a permanent repair.


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