Turkey vulture hits police helicopter

Bird goes through windshield of Miami-Dade Police Department chopper

MIAMI - A turkey vulture flew through the windshield of a Miami-Dade Police Department helicopter Tuesday morning, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing.

The 3 pound bird hit the pilot of the Miami-Dade Police Department Eurocopter AS350 in the face, said police. He was flying alone and wearing protective goggles at the time, protecting his eyes, but shards of glass cut his face.

The pilot then landed the helicopter in a parking lot near Southwest 120th Street and Florida's Turnpike about 11:30 a.m. The bird was killed in the collision.

The pilot was taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

County aviation mechanics arrived Tuesday afternoon and disassembled the blades from the rotors to transport the helicopter back to its hanger.

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