The TCM and pilot were unhurt. Debris from the windshield also entered the main rotor disk, making a hole in the trailing edge of one of the rotor blades.
The AgustaWestland AW109 windshield is not designed to withstand bird strikes and the design certification requirements do not require it to do so.
No injuries were sustained
The helicopter was returning from a HEMS mission and returning to East Midlands Airport. As it was descending through about 1,000ft, the TCM seated in the left seat spotted the animal and shouted ‘bird’. The pilot pitched and rolled the helicopter to the right, but the bird hit and went through the left windshield.
It struck the TCM on the left side of their helmet and continued up into the top of the left cockpit door, before becoming wedged behind the pilot’s seat. Following the bird strike, the crew reported that there was a ‘noticeable’ vibration in the airframe.
The helicopter landed without incident and was shut down. The TCM was examined by the crew doctor and found to have sustained no injuries.
Flying objects such as birds and drones often pose a threat to air ambulances. Recently, an air ambulance has come within a few yards of colliding with a drone as it sought to land at a London hospital.