Powerful wind gust blows over State Police chopper



LATROBE, Pa. - Powerful wind gusts toppled a State Police helicopter parked at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity late Wednesday morning.

Westmoreland County Airport Authority Director Gabe Monzo said the helicopter, which was parked on its helipad, was blown onto its side by wind during a storm that caused power to go out at the airport 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.”

Channel 11’s Vince Sims reported that the chopper had just returned from a search-and-rescue mission. The pilot landed because of bad weather and properly secured the helicopter to the ground with straps.

“Shortly after coming inside, a 58 knot wind gusted at the airport and subsequently blew the helicopter on its side. You can see there is extensive damage to it,” Pennsylvania State Trooper Steve Limani said.

No other damage was reported at the airport.


Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.