Helicopter Makes Emergency Landing on Hayward Golf Course

A helicopter carrying a flight instructor and student made an emergency landing at a Hayward golf course after a large turkey vulture flew into it, officials said.

The incident was reported Friday morning at Skywest Golf Course, just off Hesperian Boulevard. No injuries were reported, officials said.

“This suggests what an excellent job the instructor did of landing the helicopter,” said Doug McNeeley, Hayward Executive Airport Manager Doug McNeeley said. The airport is next door the golf course and also is home to a nearby flight school.

Frank Pontino was perfecting his putt at the golf course when he heard an unusual noise from above.

“I heard a bird hit the propeller, so I ran for cover,” Pontino said. “I’m glad everyone was safe.”

McNeeley said bird strikes are rare, but the airport takes active steps to manage the nearby bird population.

“We’re going to have to investigate and see if there’s a nest of turkey vultures some place,” he said, adding the city can trap and relocate birds that might pose a risk.

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