IDF helicopter forced down, damaged by stork

IDF helicopter made emergency landing after colliding with stork during national air force exercise.

Moshe Cohen ,

Military helicopter in Sinai (illustrative)
Military helicopter in Sinai (illustrative)
Flash 90

An IDF helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing Wednesday after a stork collided with it.

The Yanshuf helicopter was on a practice mission, and the collision caused substantial damage to the helicopter.

The incident occurred during a national air force exercise, with hundreds of helicopters participating. The IDF did not disclose the location of the incident.

The incident highlighted the danger to aircraft, both civilian and military, from birds. There are numerous such incidents each year in Israel and around the world.

Civilian and military aircraft controllers are in constant contact with workers of the Environment Ministry to keep track of the many flocks of birds that fly over Israel on their way north or south, especially in the fall and spring months.

In one of the most famous incidents of bird collision, a US Airways flight was forced down into the Hudson River off the coast of New York City in 2009 when it was disabled, striking a flock of geese.

The plane was ferried to safety by its captain, Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger, who became a national hero, and is now an international speaker on airline safety.