Bird strike caught on tape

4:38 PM, Feb 10, 2010   |    comments
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MIAMI (NBC) -- A Florida pilot has quite the story to tell, and the video to prove it.

Paul Appleton was flying a helicopter, snapping photos during the Super Bowl, when a turkey vulture suddenly flew into his aircraft.

Appleton says the bird hitched a 20 mile ride on this lap.

The safest thing to do was to keep the bird in the aircraft until he landed.

"I lost sight of him for a second and then I heard a boom and all of a sudden I have a turkey vulture sitting on my lap up against my chest and on my forearm," Appleton recalled. "I don't know the exact size or weight of it, but it was a pretty big bird."

The bird flew out of the helicopter after it landed.

Appleton says his headset and glasses were partially knocked off when the bird flew into the chopper, but only suffered a small scrape on his forehead.

NBC

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