Minnesota State Patrol helicopter co-pilot injured after duck crashes through windshield

A co-pilot guiding a helicopter for the Minnesota State Patrol was injured Wednesday night when a duck crashed through the windshield of the aircraft, authorities said.

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The co-pilot was hurt after being struck by the duck as the helicopter was returning to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from southeastern Minnesota at about 10:15 p.m. CDT, the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

The co-pilot suffered a “suspected head injury” and was examined at a St. Paul hospital before being released, the state patrol said in a series of tweets.

The co-pilot who was struck was wearing his helmet and had his shield down, Sgt. Jesse Grabow, a State Patrol spokesperson, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“The pilot was in control and remained in control of the helicopter, returned and landed,” Grabow told reporters.

The bird did not survive and was found inside the helicopter, the Pioneer Press reported.

“Unfortunately, it did not end well and it was located,” Grabow told KMSP-TV.

“Bird strikes happen, (but) most (of the) time they are not known until after the return of a flight,” Grabow told reporters. “Birds coming through into the aircraft itself are not common.”