Precursors

Photo of S-76C+ helicopter windshield after a bird strike
Photo of S-76C+ helicopter windshield after a bird strike

On November 13, 1999, an incident occurred in West Palm Beach, Florida, where a bird struck the windshield of an S-76C+ helicopter. The bird, later identified as a turkey vulture did not penetrate the laminated glass windshield. The turkey vulture has an average weight of approximately 1.8 to 5.1 pounds. The impact forces cracked the windshield and moved the fire extinguisher T-handles out of their detents; but not with sufficient force to move the engine condition levers.

In 2006, a PHI S-76 helicopter with a monolithic cast acrylic windshield experienced a bird-strike incident. Post-incident examination revealed a near-circular hole with radiating cracks near the top center of the right windshield. The bird had penetrated the windshield and pushed the right-side T-handle. The trapped remains of the bird prevented the right-side throttle from being reengaged, but the pilot was able to land the helicopter safely.

Photos of a PHI S-76 helicopter with the cast acrylic windshields with a bird-strike incident
Photos of a PHI S-76 helicopter with the cast acrylic windshields with a bird-strike incident

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