A bird strike caused significant damage to an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter in the Kingman area.
Officials said on April 29, at 12:50 a.m., a DPS helicopter (Ranger 56) was flying back to the Western Air Rescue base in Kingman after searching for a 4-year-old girl, who was later found.
During the flight back to base, the helicopter struck a flock of birds.
Pilot John Haverly and Trooper Daniel Townsend were on board and said the flight was interrupted when they heard a loud noise and a sudden rush of air came into the cockpit.
Moments before the crash, Townsend observed a group of birds flying from the left side, directly into the path of the helicopter. He did not have enough time to warn Haverly.
The crew was able to land the helicopter safely in an open field near Interstate 40. They did not sustain any injuries.
Photos released from DPS show significant damage to the helicopter.
An initial inspection from DPS indicated one of the birds broke through the helicopter, which allowed the rush of air into the aircraft.