TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Strong wind topples parked helicopter at airport near Latrobe

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Related Stories

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Jennifer Reeger
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 12:36 p.m.
 

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 jreeger@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. 10 of Jon Stewart’s highlights from ‘The Daily Show’
  2. U.S. asks Supreme Court to reinstate convictions of portfolio managers who won on appeal
  3. Man wounded in Marshall-Shadeland shooting
  4. Facebook ready to test giant drone
  5. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  6. Mon Valley school districts wait out budget impasse
  7. Equestrian coach inspired with skill, dedication
  8. Roundup: Shell to cut jobs to cope with prolonged period of cheap oil; U.S. Corrugated building $43.5M plant in California; more
  9. Economy’s 2Q best since last year
  10. Home rental prices jumped again in June
  11. Oakmont businessman valued golf, community