Two Police Helicopters Destroyed In Catastrophic Rotor Collision

Two Police Helicopters Destroyed In Catastrophic Rotor Collision

N911FA, a Bell OH-58, was attempting to park on Pad 2 at the Pasadena PD heliport, and N96BM, a Bell OH-58A, was on the ground adjacent to Pad 1 with its main rotor blades turning when the collision occurred. Pasadena PD operated both helicopters under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as public-use flights. Both helicopters sustained substantial damage.

The commercial pilot and two passengers of N911FA received minor injuries. The commercial pilot and tactical flight officer (TFO) of N96BM received minor injuries. Also, one person on the ground received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plans had been filed.

According to Pasadena PD, N911FA was providing traffic support for a college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The flight departed at 1552, and flew toward the Rose Bowl; the intent was to be gone for a 1 hour flight. At the time of departure for N911FA, weather at the heliport was not a factor. At 1555, about 3 minutes later, N96BM was moved out of the hangar in response to an in-progress call, and placed on the outside edge of Pad 1, in between Pad 1 and Pad 2 facing to the south. The pilot of N96BM had started the engine, and begun the startup sequence.

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