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 arrived.
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.