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Officer Down: Sacramento County, CA Sheriff's Chopper Crashes

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  • Officer Down: Sacramento County, CA Sheriff's Chopper Crashes

    At approx 1900 hrs on 7/13/05 a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department helicopter crashed in the Nimbus Dam area of Sacramento County. 3 deputies were on board, 1 was life flighted from the scene, the other 2 are presumed dead. No official word from the Sheriff's Department as of yet, but eyewitnesses report the chopper was patrolling Lake Nimbus at a height of approx. 500 feet when they heard a "popping sound" and the helicopter dropped into the woods near the lake.
    Last edited by lsmalibu; 07-13-2005, 10:41 PM.
    *Not a cop*

  • #2
    http://www.news10.net/storyfull1.asp?id=11992

    Mods, feel free to move this if appropriate.
    *Not a cop*

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    • #3
      That is awful, any chopper boys know what kind of chopper it was and what it's history is with maintenance?
      "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

      For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by pkagel
        That is awful, any chopper boys know what kind of chopper it was and what it's history is with maintenance?
        Sacramento Sheriff's Department flies the American Eurocopter EC-120 which is an excellent & very reliable helicopter. An emergency landing at night in an unlit area is about as tough as it gets.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Stan Switek
          An emergency landing at night in an unlit area is about as tough as it gets.
          ?

          is that what they were doing?
          *Not a cop*

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lsmalibu
            ?

            is that what they were doing?
            Per the article - Multiple witnesses say the copter was flying low over the Lake Natoma area when popping sounds were heard and flames were spotted shooting from the craft's engines.

            "We turned around because it was such a strange noise," said witness Michelle Parsons. "It shot off something. That's what started the fire."

            Flames & parts exiting the engine is bad. That would be an indication of a major failure. Most aircraft do not fly well without engines thus requiring an emergency landing.

            The article indicate they were flying low at night. Depending on their altitude, wire strike is always a possibility & would make a lote of sparks too, however the article indicates they were over the lake (later stated near the lake) so who knows at this point. However, they landed on dry land which indicates the were in the proximity of the shore which brings wire strike back into play. The cause will not be difficult to determine. The sad part is LE lost 2 good people.

            7-14-04

            Sacramento Sheriff Lou Blanas said National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration investigators will join Sacramento Sheriff's officials looking into a fatal helicopter crash on Wednesday.

            "Without a doubt, this is the worst day in the history of the Sacramento County Sheriffs' Department," a solemn Blanas said during the late-night news conference. Blanas confirmed the deaths of 17-year department veteran Deputy Joseph Kievernagel and Deputy Kevin Blount, a 7-year veteran of the department, in the crash near Nimbus Dam Wednesday.

            Sacramento Sheriff's Communications officers received a mayday from the "Star 6" crew at 7:10 p.m. reporting mechanical problems with the EC-120 American Eurocopter. The crew reported they were attempting an emergency landing near Lake Natoma just before the accident. The crew was reportedly on a routine patrol mission at the time of the crash.

            Blanas said so far, investigators have little information about exactly what caused the crash. "It appears somehow (the helicopter) lost power," said Blanas. "The officer tried to land in very hilly country and the helicopter rolled several times to the bottom of the ravine."

            Blanas said the roll after the crash is believed to be what killed Kievernagel and Blount.

            Blanas recalled Kievernagel as one of the department's best pilots and lauded the courage of the deputies. "These are heroes in the skies," said Blanas. "You can't say enough about the job that they do." Blanas also praised the efforts of surrounding departments who aided in the rescue effort, including Folsom Police, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento Metro Fire and the Sacramento Police Department.

            "Every person on this department is going through hell right now," Blanas said. "They lost two great friends, two outstanding officers."
            Last edited by Stan Switek; 07-14-2005, 10:08 AM.

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            • #7
              I hadn't seen that press release until this morning.

              This incident actually occurred just over a mile from my house. Fortunately/Unfortunately, I was unaware of the incident until I saw it on TV 90 minutes later, but from what I've heard, the mutual aid from multiple agencies was amazing to see. Sacramento County's agencies have a good working relationship without a lot of BS, and it's good to see that when a brother needs help, there's someone there.

              My condolences go out to the families of the brave deputies that lost their lives, and thoughts go out for the surviving deputy, who has been upgraded from critical to serious.
              *Not a cop*

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              • #8
                Crash

                Our K9 unit has written a tribute and added video and fotos.

                Here is the link: http://www.ssdk9.com/content/news/story/69/
                Last edited by K9 Jimmy; 07-18-2005, 10:16 PM. Reason: Tribute
                "Fear The Dark, For I am In It"

                These aren't my pants - This isn't my jacket - This is not my car

                www.SSDK9.com

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