Police Helicopter Crash

Little Rock police on Tuesday released surveillance footage of a department helicopter crash that injured one person last week.

The crash happened Thursday at a police training center off Ironton Cut Off Road. Pilot and retired officer William “Bill” Denio was seriously injured, the department reported.

Surveillance footage posted on the Little Rock police Facebook page shows the observation helicopter, a 2001 Bell TH-67, parked on a flatbed trailer with its rotary blades spinning. The helicopter starts to alternately hover and descend above the platform, turning side to side as its landing skids hit the flatbed. A man can be seen pointing toward the ground, as if instructing the pilot to land, when one of the landing skids appears to get caught underneath the platform. The helicopter then rolls right and crashes into the ground, destroying the rotary blades and sending shards of twisted metal spinning through air.

The man who had been signaling to the chopper rushes toward the vehicle after the crash, the video shows.

Denio was hospitalized with a head injury.

Police said Denio was testing new equipment in the helicopter when a straight-line wind knocked it off the platform.

The department initially said the helicopter was not airborne, though the video shows otherwise.

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