Able 1 helicopter update: Partial loss of engine power preceded April 16 incident

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, an April 16 incident that damaged the Omaha Police Department's Able 1 helicopter began with a partial loss of engine power shortly after takeoff.

OPD said at the time that Able 1 had just left base location at the Omaha North Airport, 11901 N. 72nd St.

The helicopter had climbed to approximately 200 to 250 above the ground when the pilot and co-pilot, "recognized an audible horn, low rotor RPM, and a loss of engine power indications in the cockpit. The flying pilot, who was seated in the right seat, entered an autorotation in an attempt to recover rotor RPM."

They put the aircraft down in a field and, "Upon touchdown in the soft terrain, the forward landing gear skids dug into the terrain, and the helicopter rocked forward and backward which then caused the main rotor blades to contact the tail boom. The helicopter came to rest upright with the tail boom separated from the airframe."

The helicopter had substantial damage to the tail boom.

No one was injured.