NPS helicopter hit by IMO

Last week, a National Park Service helicopter returning to the helibase at Ash Mountain was struck by an inanimate metal object (IMO) while flying at 2,000 feet. Due to the noise on-board a helicopter, crew members could not be certain what, if anything, they heard during impact.

There was no sighting of anything unusual during the flight. The part of the helicopter that sustained the damage was not visible to the pilot or crew while airborne.

But any impact with an object during a flight is cause for concern and can cripple the aircraft. It’s highly probable that the impact wasn’t caused by spacecraft or a piece of space junk. It more likely originated from Earth and possibly a human, and could have been a drone, amateur rocket, or some other projectile that should not have been in the helicopter’s air space.

National park guidelines say that all types of aircraft are banned from parks “other than at locations designated pursuant to special regulations.” Drones are prohibited because their presence can be disturbing, not only to people trying to peacefully enjoy the parks, but also to wildlife, while also interfering with National Park Service aircraft on official business.

 

 

4 thoughts on “NPS helicopter hit by IMO

  • August 23, 2019 at 8:54 am
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    Glad everybody is okay. I always thought if we got hit in that area, it would be a jet from NAS Lemoore.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 12:59 pm
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    No way a Marine / Navy pilot would be that careless or fly that low….I seen them in Nam…they are too good at what they do. No doubt it was anything but a drone…a wise guy that should be in JAIL !

    Reply
    • August 24, 2019 at 10:22 am
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      Guess you’ve never seen the pilots on training flights in the Kern River and Golden Trout wilderness, where they fly at tree level.

      Reply
  • August 23, 2019 at 3:18 pm
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    It was an errant golf ball hit by Pete Schuft
    George Bowen Ash Mtn Subdistrict Ranger. 1966-1971

    Reply

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