Sunday, April 24, 2016

Downed chopper report spurs big search

LANSING — Police and firefighters rushed to an area south of Lansing Municipal Airport Saturday when Lynwood police received a report at 11:22 a.m. that a gyrocopter had crashed.

All terrain vehicles, the Lake County Sheriff's Police helicopter and even a small drone joined in the search as police and firefighters fanned out into cornfields and woods, searching for an hour before the pilot and gyrocopter were found safe back at the airport.

The gyrocopter pilot had been performing a maneuver known as an auto rotation, which may have made it appear he was losing power and crashing, according to Sheriff's Deputy Chief of Police Dan Murchek. The maneuver basically consists of turning off the power to the rotors and letting airflow drive them around, providing lift.

"Sometimes when they do that it will look like they are going down," Murchek said.

The Lake County Sheriff's helicopter was at the airport for a "touch a truck" day being put on by Lansing Police, so it quickly joined in the search.

Original article can be found here:

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