Tree trimming services don’t usually involve a helicopter—especially
not one piloted by the tree trimmer. But that was the story in Logan County,
Ohio, when a pilot lost control of his tree trimming helicopter and crashed
into a nearby tree line.
The pilot, Leo Boucher, 50, of Manchester, New Hampshire,
had previously used the helicopter to clear trees for a 16-mile local bike
path. A crowd of spectators, according to one source, watched as he operated
the aerial craft.
Authorities suspect that the helicopter, which was about
100 feet off the ground when it crashed, struck a deer stand that the pilot
didn’t see. The helicopter was suspended in the tree branches when authorities
Prior to the accident, Boucher said trimming trees by
helicopter is used as a last resort. Metal poles connect the blade device to
the helicopter. The ‘chain saw’ is actually several blades, each spinning about
5,000 revolutions per minute, 80 feet below the helicopter.
“They use the helicopter as a last resort,” said Boucher,
“Although it is faster to use the aerial saw than to do it by ground, doing it
by ground is half the price.” The tree trimming project cost about $50,000.
Boucher was taken to a local hospital in serious
condition. The State Highway Patrol called in the Federal Aviation
Administration to help investigate the crash.