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Helicopter makes surprise visit to Keene Valley

NYS Police Aviation lands in local field

Officers William Accousti and C.J. Clark wait for mechanics to inspect the Bell 430 twin engine helicopter in a field off of Rte. 9N in Keene Valley.

Officers William Accousti and C.J. Clark wait for mechanics to inspect the Bell 430 twin engine helicopter in a field off of Rte. 9N in Keene Valley. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— A New York State Police Aviation helicopter made a surprise landing in a field along Route 9N Monday, Dec. 5.

Officers William Accousti and C.J. Clark landed the Bell 430 helicopter as a precautionary measure at about 9:30 a.m. They decided to land after warning lights signaled a possible problem with the helicopter’s transmission.

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NYS Police Aviation Lt. Mark Haskell, said the sensors in the helicopter’s transmission can be triggered if a piece of metal is dislodged and sticks to magnets in the system.

The Bell 430 2001 twin engine helicopter had been flying from Saranac Lake to Albany for routine maintenence service at the NYS Police Aviation headquarters before the helicopter’s sensors were triggered.

Officers were forced to remain grounded to wait for mechanics to arrive from Albany to check the tranmission. Mechanics were able to clear the helicopter for flight and by 12:45 p.m., and officers continued their trip to Albany.

“We always, always want to stop and check it out as a precaution,” Haskell said. “Luckily it wasn’t an emergency.”

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