Police helicopter makes emergency landing at Columbia high school

Mechanical failure forced landing at Wilde Lake High; no one injured

By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun6:41 a.m. EDT, May 31, 2013

A mechanical problem forced a police helicopter pilot to make an emergency landing on the football field of a local high school in Columbia on Thursday night, a maneuver that caused “significant damage” to the aircraft but injured no one, according to Howard County Police.

About 11:07 p.m., the pilot and three flight officers were responding to a police call when the undetermined problem occurred, police said.

The pilot, a tenured officer and certified flight instructor, “spotted Wilde Lake High School nearby” using night-vision goggles and performed the emergency landing in the field, which sustained minimal damage.

Damage estimates for the helicopter have not been determined.

The pilot was joined on board the aircraft by a tactical flight officer and a flight officer in training from Howard County and a tactical flight officer from Anne Arundel County Police. The two counties share flight personnel and equipment, police said.

None of the officers were injured. They have not yet been publicly identified.

Howard County Police said the helicopter’s flight maintenance records were current and there was no record of mechanical problems with the aircraft.

Federal inspectors were expected to be at the scene investigating the cause of the problem on Friday morning.


Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/bs-md-ho-helicopter-emergency-20130531,0,1220826.story#ixzz2UskwYijd