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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Kids On Tennis Court Was Problem For Army Helicopter

Weather, low fuel force Army helicopter to put down on school’s tennis court

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Courier Express

EMPORIUM - A military helicopter had to make an emergency landing at Woodland Elementary School in Emporium Monday.

Kevin Johnson, Emergency Management Agency director for Cameron County, said he received a call that there as a helicopter hovering over the town.
"I went outside," he said, "and saw it hovering over the west end of town."
He immediately contacted the state Emergency Operation Center, which is the protocol for suspicious aircraft, and was put in contact with Fort Indiantown Gap.

Officials told him it was one of their aircraft.

The crew was flying from Port Allegany to Fort Indiantown Gap in a Blackhawk helicopter when it hit bad weather and was low on fuel.

Johnson said the crew spent about 10 to 15 minutes flying over the town to find a place to land.

With the recent flooding, the crew decided not to land in a football field or another field for fear of getting the aircraft stuck. The tennis court outside Woodland Elementary was determined to be the best place. The only problem was that children from the school were outside playing on the courts.

One of the crew members hooked on rigging and leaned out the door to yell to the children to get off the courts.

"I guess the teacher was quite nervous. She didn't have any idea what was going on and neither did anyone else in the building," Johnson said. Everyone got out of the way and the helicopter landed safely.

The St. Marys Area Airport was contacted and 110 gallons of jet fuel were brought to the aircraft. Because of the snowy weather, the crew ended up staying overnight at a local hotel.

Everything was done according to protocol and the helicopter was able to land safely without anyone getting hurt, Johnson said.
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Reported by JoAnn Seltzer, staff writer. E-mail:jseltzer@thecourierexpress.com.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

"I thought I told you to get fuel before we left???"

"I put $10 in the tank!"

"You idiot, $10 is like 1 tablespoon of jet fuel!!!"

Anonymous said...

They where at a funeral in Port Allegany for Lawrence Kelley. Rip buddy.