An Omaha police helicopter is down at the Blair Airport and fire crews and police are responding, an Omaha Police Department spokeswoman and a Washington County dispatcher said Friday.
No one was injured and no fire was reported, the dispatcher said. Two people in pilot uniforms could be seen standing with other people on the runway afterward.
In April, OPD's air support unit lost one of its three helicopters when it lost engine power midflight and the pilots had to make an emergency landing in a field. The landing caused the aircraft’s rotor blades to make contact with its tail, essentially totaling the helicopter, police said.
Neither of the pilots was injured in that incident.
With Friday's crash, one OPD helicopter remains available for service.
The helicopter is a Bell 206 B III model, according to the OPDABLE1 Twitter account. AVBuyer.com, an aircraft sales website, shows similar models in the United States, Europe and Australia selling for anywhere from $320,000 to $779,000.
The police department has six full-time pilots, plus a part-time one. It also has one mechanic, and was in the process of hiring another last year, according to World-Herald files.
Omaha police moved their helicopters to the Blair Airport last month. The department held a ribbon-cutting for a new air support hangar that underwent $1.2 million in renovations.
Police said last month that officials hoped to add a third helicopter back to its fleet and noted that the Blair hangar will allow the unit to expand to four or five helicopters at some point.
Last November, the Omaha City Council approved an agreement to house the city’s air support unit at that airport, ending a 22-year period at the North Omaha Airport.
World-Herald staff writer Erin Duffy contributed to this report.