Wed, Jun 27, 2007
Suspected Wind Gust Caused Skid To Touch Ground
A helicopter flight lesson got a little topsy-turvy at the
University of North Dakota on Tuesday.
Flight instructor Michael Coleman and student Talal Alajmi were
believed to be hovering about three feet up in a 1987 Bell 206
(type shown above) preparing for takeoff when one of the
skids contacted the ground causing the aircraft to roll.
Neither student nor the instructor was injured, said Dana
Siewert, director of aviation safety for UND Aerospace, to The
The accident happened Thursday afternoon during an instruction
flight near the Grand Forks International Airport on the UND flight
"We don't know if that's exactly what happened," Siewert said.
It appeared to be a "dynamic rollover" as evidenced by the skid
marks on the ground, he said.
UND spokesman Peter Johnson said a gust of wind is what caused
the skid to touch down.
"The wind was out of the west, gusting up to 22 mph, considered
within the limits for operating a helicopter," he said.
The helo, worth an estimated $500,000 was totaled.
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