Strong wind topples parked helicopter at airport near Latrobe
A state police helicopter that had just returned from a search-and-rescue mission was toppled by a strong gust of wind while it was parked at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity on Wednesday morning.
The pilot had returned to his base at the airport as a thunderstorm was approaching, said state police spokesman Trooper Steve Limani. The helicopter had been part of the search for a missing snowmobiler in Somerset County, who was safely located Wednesday.
Limani said the pilot had tied down the helicopter. He was about to begin to refuel the aircraft and move it inside the hangar when a 58-knot, or nearly 67 mph, gust of wind blew it onto its side just after 10:30 a.m., Limani said.
Nobody was injured, and the helicopter did not leak fuel or any other fluids, Limani said.
The helicopter weighs about 3,100 pounds — about the same as a Honda Accord.
Limani said crews were waiting Wednesday afternoon for the proper equipment to pull the helicopter up. He expected the helicopter would be moved into its hangar for a thorough damage assessment.
“Obviously, there is extensive damage,” Limani said.
Westmoreland County Airport Authority Director Gabe Monzo said no other damage was reported at the airport as a result of the wind, though power to the facility was out for about 10 minutes.
“It was quite a gust that came through on the leading edge of the storm,” Monzo said. “It was very quick.”
Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Missed chances haunt Chiefs against Steelers
- SWAT teams surround Lincoln-Lemington home after shooting
- Pittsburgh mayor Peduto goes ‘Undercover’ for CBS reality show
- Old-school booksellers learn to survive, thrive in digital age
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- LaBar: Reigns could be WWE’s next big gamble