updated 7/3/2007 6:51:13 PM ET 2007-07-03T22:51:13

A medical airlift pilot was blinded in one eye after a vulture shattered the cockpit window of his small twin-engine plane, a spokesman for the company that owns the aircraft said Tuesday.

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William Pereira Fraga, 22, took off Sunday from Sao Paulo's Campo de Marte airport after dropping off a patient.

He was en route to the company's home base of Goiania in central Brazil with a nurse and doctor on board when the plane collided with two vultures at 4,500 feet, company spokesman Juarez Fonseca Santos said.

"One hit the fuselage, and the other smashed into the cockpit window, shattering it," Santos said.

Glass fragments pierced Fraga's left eye, partially blinding him, but he managed to pull off an emergency landing 15 minutes later at a small airport.

"He was able to land because the doctor and nurse, who were on the plane with him, administered first aid," Santos said.

Fraga underwent surgery before returning to his home in Goiania, Santos said. The pilot was blinded in his left eye, but Santos declined to give more details about his condition.

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