PLEASANT PRARIE, Wis. - SkyFox's pilot made a heroic emergency landing after being struck in the face by a seagull Wednesday morning.
Pilot Mike Sypien was flying the helicopter from Kenosha, Wisconsin back to Chicago at about 11:15 a.m. when the bird strike happened.
A seagull flew into the front window shattering it and striking Sypien in the face.
He was able to keep the chopper steady and landed the aircraft safely in a field in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
Seagull shatters helicopter windshield prompting emergency landing in Wisconsin.
"We know that he was traveling at a good speed en route southbound after leaving the airport, and took the bird strike and was able to calm and collectively land in a field without having to disrupt any traffic or cause anybody harm," said Chief David Wilkinson of Pleasant Prairie Fire and Rescue.
There was a photographer on board who was not injured. Sypien and the passenger were transported to an area hospital where the pilot was treated for cuts and scrapes.
According to the FAA, there were 225 bird strikes in Illinois and 84 in Wisconsin in 2022.