Friday, October 25, 2019

EC130 T2 EcoStar, N922RJ: Incident occurred October 21, 2019 in Gridley, Butte County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento 

Rotorcraft after dropping off patient struck a bird. 

Enloe Medical Center doing business as Enloe Flightcare

https://registry.faa.gov/N922RJ

Date: 21-OCT-19
Time: 21:00:00Z
Regis#: N922RJ
Aircraft Make: EUROCOPTER
Aircraft Model: EC130
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: AMBULANCE
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
City: CHICO
State: CALIFORNIA




OROVILLE — A FlightCare helicopter traveling to Enloe Medical Center made an emergency landing at Oroville Municipal Airport Monday morning, after it collided mid-air with a flock of geese around 2 a.m.

The incident occurred a few miles north of Gridley while the helicopter was traveling back to Enloe on its way from Sacramento. No patients were onboard at the time. Enloe’s FlightCare service responds to emergencies within a 75-mile radius of Enloe — including Butte, Tehama, Glenn, Plumas, Colusa, Sierra, Yuba and parts of Lassen counties.

“The pilot followed aircraft safety precautions and detoured to the nearest safe landing area, six miles away in Oroville,” according to a press release from Enloe’s marketing and communications manager, Joe Page.

“Bird strikes with an aircraft are not uncommon in this area,” said Marty Marshall, Enloe’s director of Emergency Services. “The valley from Sacramento to Chico is one of the busiest migration areas for birds in the country and our helicopter travels at 135 mph. When you add 30-40 pound birds traveling at 35-40 mph, a broken helicopter windshield is often the result.”

The aircraft suffered a broken windshield, however it was capable of returning to the helipad on the roof of Enloe Medical Center where it awaits repairs.

No patients were on board the aircraft, and there were no injuries to pilot Joe Ryan or crew members Matthew Sheller and Troy Keenan. Enloe’s second helicopter will be used for emergency flights until the first is fixed — which will likely happen by Friday, Page said.

Enloe’s FlightCare helicopter responds to an average of three calls per day according to the hospital’s website; the program has transported nearly 19,000 patients since it began in 1985.

The status of the geese has yet to be confirmed.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.chicoer.com




CHICO, California — Enloe Medical Center's FlightCare helicopter made an unscheduled landing at Oroville Municipal Airport after hitting a flock of geese around 2 a.m., on Monday.

According to Enloe Medical Center officials, the impact happened a few miles north of Gridley, while the EC130 T2 EcoStar helicopter was on its way back to Chico from Sacramento,

The rotorcraft suffered a broken windshield as a result of hitting the flock of geese.

The helicopter could return to the helipad on the roof of the Enloe Medical Center, however, Enloe officials say the pilot detoured to the nearest safe landing area, six miles away in Oroville.

"Bird strikes with an aircraft are not uncommon in this area," said Marty Marshall, Enloe's director of Emergency Services. "Th valley from Sacramento to Chico is one of the busiest migration areas for birds in the country and our helicopter travels at 135 MPH. When you add 30-40-pound birds traveling at 35-40 MPG, a broken helicopter windshield is often the result."

No patients were on board the rotorcraft, and there were no injuries to the pilot or crew members.

The EC130 T2 EcoStar helicopter is temporarily out of service until it's windshield is replaced. The helicopter will be repaired and active again by Friday, Marty Marshall said.

During this period, Enloe's second helicopter is operating to ensure FlightCare's ability to provide emergency air care.

"We are thankful for our donors who contributed to our EC130 T2 EcoStar helicopter acquisition in 2015," said Mike Wiltermood, Enloe Medical Center's president and CEO. "Their generosity and ongoing commitment to Enloe Medical Center and our FlightCare program has put us in a unique position where we are able to operate at full-capacity when our helicopter needs urgent repairs."

Original article can be found here ➤ https://krcrtv.com

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"30 to 40 pound birds"?

Anonymous said...

A flock of migratory geese flying at night? I don't think so. The only big birds that fly at night are sea birds during migration and owls. Owls don't fly in flocks nor do they fly very high at night, rarely getting above treetop level as they fly from tree to tree perch looking/listening for ground prey. But the best proof on what this chopper hit will be looking at the feathers if there are any remaining.

Anonymous said...

And yes I got a kick out of that 30-40 pound bird comment too. The EMS director who said that clearly doesn't know much about birds. The heaviest flying bird in North America is the swan which is 25 pounds on average. Something just doesn't add up to this story overall, but I am genuinely interested in knowing what they DID hit.

RiccoPitts said...

Yes, very large birds do fly at night, or at least they do in Alabama. Back in 1984 while flying a Cessna 172 at night, I was level at 2000 feet when I hit what was some type of bird. A very loud "bang" left me thinking a busted rod or somehow I had hit another aircraft without knowing it. It was only after I was back on ground did I find all the blood & feathers down the side of the aircraft. I believe the prop got it, I'm thankful it didn't come thru the windshield. Night flying was never the same for me after that.

Anonymous said...


I didn't think large birds flew t night either until...I read the accident report for Air Methods rotorwing crash November 2017 south of Stuttgart Arkansas. They struck a flock of Snow Geese at an altitude of 1250' at midnight and crashed. The breed of bird was confirmed by feathers from the 11 bags of remains removed from the cockpit.