TribLIVE

| News


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

Strong wind topples parked helicopter at airport near Latrobe

Related Stories

Daily Photo Galleries

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.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Starkey: Chryst a miserable failure at Pitt
  2. Ex-Penguins defenseman Niskanen still miffed by coaches’ firings
  3. Pitt players support Rudolph for job
  4. Steelers’ Bell, Chiefs’ Charles elevating running back position in NFL
  5. Pitt football fights to overcome steppingstone status
  6. Pouliot scores in NHL debut as Penguins tame Panthers
  7. Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
  8. Warning about cop-killer came moments too late
  9. Steelers notebook: Bell says he’s prepared to test Chiefs defense
  10. Minor league report: Other prospects on Penguins’ radar
  11. South Fayette football team distributes Steelers tickets to Carlynton, Wilkinsburg
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.