Bullet Impacted Windscreen, Wounded Crew, Damaged Cockpit
A Bernalillo County, NM, sheriff's helicopter that went down
15-feet from a house in Albuquerque over the weekend wasn't brought
down by mechanical problems or pilot error. It was shot down,
according to Sheriff Darren White.
Metro One, a Hughes H369, was on patrol Saturday night when
pilot Chris Holland and Deputy Ward Pfefferle say it suddenly
pitched nose-down and impacted the ground in the backyard of an
Albuquerque home. Both pilots survived, but suffered shrapnel
wounds, according to White.
The bullet apparently entered the helicopter at the pilots'
feet, impacting one of the anti-torque pedals and fragmenting.
Tests of the cockpit were positive for traces of lead and there was
damage consistent with gunfire, White said.
"We intend to use every resource available to track down the
coward who is responsible for this sick and twisted act," the
sheriff told reporters at a Tuesday news conference. "How could
someone walk out in the middle of the night and take a gun and fire
at a helicopter that's out there trying to protect the public? It's
a miracle they're alive."
The Sheriff's Office and FBI are investigating.
FAA Preliminary Accident Report
Make/Model: H369 Description: 269,
200, 280, 300, TH-300, SKY KNIGHT (
Date: 08/06/2005 Time: 0830
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Serious Mid Air: N
City: ALBUQUERQUE State: NM Country:
N500SD, A METRO 1, HUGHES 369HS OPERATED BY THE BERNALILLO
A PUBLIC USE ROTORCRAFT, CRASHED INTO THE TREES AND A FENCE
PATROL, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 2 Fat:
# Pass: 1 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: 09012KT 10SM FEW080 BKN130 OVC180 21/14 A3014
Activity: Public Use Phase:
Maneuver Operation: Public
Dep Date: Dep.
Flt Plan: VFR
Wx Briefing: N
Last Radio Cont:
FAA FSDO: ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Entry date: 08/08/2005