They say it's rare, but operators of the Air Care medical helicopter program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center say their pilots do train for incidents like the one that forced an emergency landing Thursday night.
A Meridian-based chopper had to land at Jackson-Evers International Airport after two ducks flew through the windshield. The crew was taking a patient and his wife from Wiggins to Brandon when it happened.
The impact broke the windshield and injured the pilot. He was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center by ambulance -- as was the patient, who did not suffer any additional injuries.
"(The crew) responded according to protocol, and while it was an unscheduled landing, this is what they are trained to do," said Donna Norris, director of the Air Care program at UMC. "The patient was cared for in the best manner possible under the protocols, and the transport ended uneventfully."
The pilot had minor facial injuries and was released from the hospital after a few hours. His name is not being released.
Once the helicopter's windshield is replaced, it will return to service in Meridian.
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