South Carolina

Pilot hospitalized after police helicopter crashes at South Carolina airport, cops say

A law enforcement helicopter crashed at Summerville Airport.
A law enforcement helicopter crashed at Summerville Airport. South Carolina Law Enforcement Division

A police helicopter crashed at a South Carolina airport Wednesday afternoon, said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, or SLED.

The chopper went down at the Summerville Airport at about 4 p.m., SLED said in a news release. That is about 30 miles from Charleston.

The pilot, who was the only person on the helicopter, was taken to an area hospital with “non-life threatening injuries,” SLED said.

The flight was on a mission to aid Dorchester County authorities, according to the news release. A Dorchester County spokeswoman said the helicopter was being used to conduct drug sweeps and the pilot was attempting to refuel it when the crash occurred, WCIV reported.

The helicopter was identified as an MD-500 by SLED spokesman Thom Berry, who couldn’t say if the crash occurred during takeoff or landing.

“It has been one of our workhorses,” Berry said of the helicopter in an interview with The State.

The Federal Aviation Administration will lead the investigation into what caused the crash, which is the first for a SLED helicopter in the law enforcement agency’s history, according to the news release.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Surveillance video shows the moment a Little Rock, Arkansas police helicopter crashes after getting caught in a gust of wind just moments after taking off. One person was injured in the accident.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.