Tour helicopter makes emergency landing after bird strike


LAS VEGAS – A tour helicopter returning to Las Vegas from the Grand Canyon made an emergency landing near Lake Mead after colliding with a bird, park officials said.

The pilot, David Supe, 25, of Henderson, Nev., was cut by broken glass when the windshield was cracked, the Las Vegas Sun reported. His six passengers were not hurt in the collision Monday afternoon and Maverick Tours dispatched a van to return them to Las Vegas.

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Supe landed the helicopter on a bike trail in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, a spokesman for the National Park Service said.

The helicopter was hit by a cormorant, a large water bird.

Tom Supe, the pilot’s father, said he has had a pilot’s license for planes since he was 17 and began flying helicopters two years later. Supe has served as a pilot on emergency operations in Texas and has flown helicopters in Alaska, his father added.