State Police Helicopter Damaged Prior to Lift-Off

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State Police Helicopter Damaged Prior to Lift-Off

MARYLAND - 2/13/2010

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No one was injured, but a Maryland State Police helicopter was damaged last night while preparing to depart from a Prince George’s County hospital helipad after completing a medevac mission. 

Just before 11 p.m., Feb. 11, the crew of “Trooper 2,” the Maryland State Police helicopter stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, was initiating lift-off procedures on the helipad at the Prince George’s Hospital Center in Landover.  The initial investigation indicates that as the pilot was applying power to the helicopter engines to begin the lift-off, the tail of the aircraft lowered several inches and impacted a snow bank along the perimeter of the ground-based helipad.  The helicopter was not airborne at the time of the accident.  The crew immediately shut down the aircraft engines and inspected the helicopter. 

Neither crew member was injured.  No one else was on-board the aircraft.  The tail section of the aircraft was damaged.  The extent of the damage will not be known until further examination.  No other property was damaged. 

The crew of Trooper 2 had completed a medevac mission of two patients to the hospital.  The patients had been involved in a traffic crash in southern Anne Arundel County.  The patients had been off-loaded and were being treated inside the hospital when the accident occurred. 

The helicopter crew included the pilot, Corporal Timothy N. Siebold, and flight paramedic, Sergeant Nathan H. Wheelock.  Corporal Siebold is a 20-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and has been a pilot with the Aviation Command for four years.  He previously served as an Army pilot with the Maryland Army National Guard.  Sergeant Wheelock is a 12-year veteran of the Maryland State Police and has been a flight paramedic with the Aviation Command for about ten years. 

Major Andrew J. McAndrew, Commander of the Aviation Command, responded to the scene along with directors from his command.  Notification of the accident was made to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration. 

NTSB officials said they would not be responding to the scene.  FAA officials said a decision would be made later this morning regarding their response to the helipad for an inspection. 

The American Eurocopter Dauphin N2 helicopter will be transported later today on a flatbed trailer to the Maryland State Police Aviation Command Headquarters at Martin State Airport.  A thorough inspection will be initiated at that time.  
   
The Maryland State Police Aviation Command has commenced an investigation into this accident.  As required by federal regulations, the Maryland State Police will file a written report with the NTSB within ten days.  



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