LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Louisville Police Helicopter Crashes in Eastern Jefferson County


A Louisville Metro Police helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon during training exercises, injuring one of the two people on board.

Brian C. Smith, 38, a mechanic with the police department, was flying the helicopter and was treated for a minor back injury at the University of Louisville Medical Center, said Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for the police department.

Smith, who has been with the police department for about four months, has a commercial pilot's license, Mitchell said.

A second police officer, a 20-year veteran whose name was not immediately available, was the pilot of the helicopter and was not injured, Mitchell said.Smith and the other officer were practicing landings near Billtown Road and the Gene Snyder Freeway in eastern Jefferson County in a field the department uses for training, Mitchell said. The helicopter was five to 10 feet off the ground when the crash happened at about 1:30 p.m. EST, Mitchell said.

"The aircraft suddenly dropped," Mitchell said.

The helicopter, a MD05 NOTAR model, came to rest on its right side.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the crash.

A Louisville police helicopter crashed in the same field in June 2002 during training exercises, Mitchell said.