Police helicopter crashes during takeoff in Arkansas
A test run of a police helicopter went horribly wrong, a newly-released video from Arkansas shows.
The Little Rock Police Department posted footage on Facebook of the crash, which happened on August 16.
Police say that William Denio, a retired officer, was operating the 2001 Bell TH-67 helicopter when it slammed into the ground, according to KATV.
Denio was specifically testing the batteries on the vehicle when a gust of straight-line wind caused him to lose control, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
In the video, the helicopter rises off a platform and begins to struggle in the air. A man with a blue shirt walks into the view of the camera and appears to make a hand motion to the pilot flying the aircraft, which bumps into the wood platform and suddenly jolts to its side.
The helicopter rotor spins into the concrete below, the video shows, and it snaps off as the aircraft violently flips upside-down.
The unidentified man, and his dog that was by his side, run out of the camera’s view when the helicopter is ripped apart.
Denio is now in stable condition at a local hospital, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He had suffered a “severe” head injury during the collision.
OzarksFirst identified Denio as a “one of the longest-tenured pilots” for the Little Rock Police Department.