Police Helicopter Crashes During Takeoff, Injuring One Person

Jack Phillips
8/22/2018
Updated:
8/22/2018

A helicopter in Arkansas was captured on surveillance camera crashing, injuring one person.

The incident took place at a police training center off Ironton Cut Off Road in Little Rock, KATV reported.
William “Bill” Denio, the pilot who is a retired police officer, was seriously injured in the accident, police said. According to KAIT8, he suffered a head injury and is in stable condition in a Little Rock hospital as of Aug. 21.

The video shows the helicopter taking off from a small platform and wobbling in the air for a few seconds before tipping on its side. The rotors then hit the ground and broke apart.

A man in the video can be seen taking cover behind a door. He can be seen telling the pilot to cut the engine before the aircraft crashes.

The man who was signaling at the helicopter pilot then rushes over to help the pilot inside.

The Little Rock Police Department said that Denio was “testing new equipment in the helicopter when a straight-line wind knocked it off the platform,” according to KAIT8.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said they will not investigate, according to local outlet 5 News Online, “because the helicopter wasn’t airborne at the time of the accident.”
A helicopter in Arkansas was captured on surveillance camera crashing, injuring one person. (Credit: Little Rock Police Department via Storyful)
A helicopter in Arkansas was captured on surveillance camera crashing, injuring one person. (Credit: Little Rock Police Department via Storyful)

Helicopter Safety

The FAA, in a 2017 report, said that helicopter accidents in the United States decreased by a marginal amount in 2016.

“The overall accident rate fell to 3.19 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016 compared with 3.67 accidents in 2015. The fatal accident rate fell slightly to 0.51 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016 compared with a 0.52 rate in 2015. However, the rate is down from 0.65 in 2014 and 1.02 in 2013,” says the FAA. “In raw numbers, there were 106 helicopter accidents in 2016, including 17 fatal accidents. That is a 12 percent decrease compared to the previous year and a 27 percent decrease compared to 2013.”

In 2013, an aviation expert in New York City said that helicopter tours are risky.

Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
“You’re paying money to go on a flight where you really don’t know whether the pilot, if he is confronted or if she is confronted with something dangerous, whether that person is going to have the training, experience, and background to do the right thing and save your life,” Justin Green told Pix11 after helicopter tour pilot Michael Campbell successfully carried out a hard landing on the Hudson River in July 2013.
According to Texas law firm Slack Davis Sanger, which includes aviation lawyers, “Unlike airplanes, helicopters do not require a runway for landing, so they are able to land almost anywhere; this is one reason why they are often used in high-risk military or medical rescue missions. Helicopters also fly at much lower altitudes than most other aircraft, which brings hazards like the sudden, unexpected appearance of buildings, landforms or other aircraft into play.”

But overall, the firm notes, the “overall rate of helicopter crashes, however, is only slightly higher than that of airplane crashes, and the fatality rate is actually slightly lower for helicopters.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter with 15 years experience who started as a local New York City reporter. Having joined The Epoch Times' news team in 2009, Jack was born and raised near Modesto in California's Central Valley. Follow him on X: https://twitter.com/jackphillips5
twitter