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Helicopter forced to land at school

Published July 28, 2006

BROOKSVILLE - An Aeromed helicopter had to make an emergency landing Thursday after a mid-air collision with a turkey vulture.

The crew was returning from Tampa General Hospital to its base in Inverness about 2 p.m. when the collision happened.

"There were two of (the birds) flying together. One zigged and the other zagged," said flight paramedic John Schreadley.

The helicopter couldn't avoid both of them. The right side of the windshield was smashed out, forcing the blue-and-gold helicopter to set down in left field at the Hernando Christian Academy ballpark.

As parts of the vulture dangled from the windshield, the crew picked black feathers and other debris out of the cockpit.

They hoped to be able to repair the helicopter so it could be flown away.

Schreadley said the helicopter was flying at about 1,000 feet and traveling near 130 mph.

No humans were injured in the accident.

[Last modified July 27, 2006, 23:21:20]

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