Local DPS helicopter damaged in collision with jet
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
WACO -- The Texas Department of Public Safety is left with a broken wing.
Trooper D.L. Wilson said a DPS helicopter was parked when it was struck by another jet.
"We had a tug, pulling a tow-bar, pushing a multi-engine jet and when it was backing up, the operator of the tug didn't see our helicopter parked there," said Wilson.
The chopper has been used in many searches across the region.
All the way up to Thursday helping find a burglary suspect in Robinson.
So this is a major setback for the department.
"Well very essential, because in the state of Texas, just like any other organization, we're limited on access of helicopters. So we use them, you know, they're used on a daily basis all across the state," said Wilson.
Wilson said the helicopter was also the one used during the three drownings at lake Waco this summer.
Repairing the damage will not be cheap.
"You know aircraft is, you know, it's real expensive. You know, that's a good way to say it. So we don't know yet but they're going to end up having to take it back to the plant. So they'll have to just determine how much it will cost and how much damage it was," said Wilson.
But the DPS does have a backup plan.
"We can have a helicopter here if it's needed in this community within about 45 minutes from the metroplex or the Austin area, but also the sheriff's department has an aero unit that can help us."