Jefferson Police Helicopter Damaged During Landing
A Jefferson County police helicopter was damaged when it rolled on its side yesterday evening during a landing exercise in a pasture off Billtown Road in the eastern part of the county, a police spokesman said.
The pilot, Sgt. Kenny Graham, and co-pilot, Officer Joseph O'Bryan, were not injured, said Sgt. Robert Biven, a department spokesman.
Biven said the two were in a 1979 Hughes 500B - not the department's new helicopter, which replaced one that crashed April 29, 2001, after losing power in Spencer County during a practice maneuver.
Last night the helicopter was practicing a "running landing," in which the pilot lands without hovering, Biven said. The copter was already on the ground when "momentum carried them and turned the aircraft sideways" and caused it to roll, he said.
The main rotor hit the ground and was damaged, Biven said.
The incident occurred about 7 p.m. at 7105 Billtown Road just south of the Snyder Freeway, Biven said.
Federal Aviation Administration investigators were to arrive this morning, Biven said.
In the April 2001 incident, flight instructor Dan Beach and county police Officer Paul Zehnder were practicing an emergency landing when the helicopter, hovering 6 to 8 feet above a field, suddenly lost power and fell. No one was injured.